President’s call with sports commissioners will include Dana White, Vince McMahon

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The President’s call with sports league commissioners includes a couple of guys who aren’t really sports league commissioners. And their presence suggests what one of the messages delivered could be.

Find a way to play your games.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com has the list of participants in the teleconference, which is due to begin at 12:00 p.m. ET. It’s headlined by the obvious names, the heads of American sports’ four families: Roger Goodell, Adam Silver, Gary Bettman, Rob Manfred.

The list also includes Jay Monahan, who runs the PGA tour, Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner of the WNBA, either John Middlebrook or Jim France from NASCAR, MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Then there are the eyebrow raisers. Dana White of the UFC and Vince McMahon of WWE will be on the call. (Omitted from the list are the NCAA, the XFL, and the ATP.) Both UFC and WWE have persisted during the pandemic. UFC 249 is scheduled for later this month, and WresteMania happens this weekend. At some point during the call, either or both White and McMahon will surely chime in on how and why they’ve decided to proceed in these unprecedented times.

Last month, after the NBA and NHL suspended their seasons and the NCAA canceled March Madness, White appeared on ESPN, relaying the message he received directly from the President and Vice President.

“They’re saying be cautious, be careful, but live your life and stop panicking,” White said on March 13. “Everybody is panicking and instead of panicking, we’re actually getting out there and working with doctors and health officials and the government to figure out how we keep the sport safe and continue to put on events.”

Whatever the message from today’s conference call, the sheer magnitude of participants guarantees that one or more versions of it will make their way to the media not long after the call ends.

47 responses to “President’s call with sports commissioners will include Dana White, Vince McMahon

  1. “The President’s call with sports league commissioners includes a couple of guys who aren’t really sports league commissioners. And their presence suggests what one of the messages delivered could be.

    Find a way to play your games.”

    Or its about as likely that he says, “Forget it”

  2. Play the games EVEN IF in empty stadiums! We desperately NEED sports right now. Im Not a tv buff at all, the wife has all her netflix shows to watch while all that i do is pace the house to the yard to the garage and repeat. Going crazy without sports so Play The Games! Even for just sanity sakes.

  3. With this many attention seekers getting together for a virtual meeting, and this many Americans begging for something to do, how can this not be televised. Just name a price for PPV and I am all in

  4. >>calizcowboyz says:
    April 4, 2020 at 11:11 am
    Play the games EVEN IF in empty stadiums! We desperately NEED sports right now. Im Not a tv buff at all, the wife has all her netflix shows to watch while all that i do is pace the house to the yard to the garage and repeat. Going crazy without sports so Play The Games! Even for just sanity sakes.>>

    You realize the potential nightmare this could cause, especially if ONE PLAYER tests positive. Too many threats of lawsuits. What happens at Wrestlemania this weekend will be a massive telling point. There is a good chance we don’t start back up until the fall at the earliest unless Wrestlemaina gets through this without ANYONE testing positive in the next 3-4 weeks.

    The one sport actually still going at the moment is Horse Racing, which is being staged without fans and only essential personnel at the tracks and all money wagered being done online.

  5. Should have offered to listen to this call as a PPV. This is probably a first with all of these commissioners speaking on the same call.

  6. Trump is a serial liar and an incompetent narcissist. His blatant disinformation campaign, along with Fox and AM Radio, is dangerously close to contributory negligence regarding American deaths from COVID-19. Aside from his supporters in the 0.5%-1.0% range, I really do not understand the support from everyone else…especially those in tough economic conditions. He’s legitimately harming them and they are cheering it on, and it will impact them and their families for years, if not decades, to come. The ignorance and gullibility of his base is incredibly self-destructive, and sadly, they are too deaf, dumb, and blind to realize how they are being shafted.

    As for this call, he’s going to try and bully leagues into something they will never do. The liability risk is not worth it, especially when force majeure clauses are providing economic relief for the leagues and their teams. Now, this could be driven by the insurance lobby, which has dramatically ramped up efforts on K Street. BTW, speaking of the insurance lobby…everyone can kiss the pre-existing conditions goodbye. It’s as good as gone and is not coming back. Once they repeal the AFA, and this will be following the insurance companies taking a beating over the widespread, global impact of force majeure, there will be no pre-existing conditions and rates will dramatically rise as the risk is spread around. Additionally, as immigration tightens around xenophobic fears and travel bans become the norm, there will be an acute shortage of healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical researchers, further increasing the healthcare costs, putting it out of reach for even lower-middle class families. Currently, 32% of all active US doctors are foreign-educated. That’s not going to change in the near-term, as the US doesn’t value education in the same way the rest of the world does. FYI, as everyone rips “socialism” while cashing their $1200 check, the insurance industry doesn’t spread the wealth..,they spread the risk. So you will see no sports this year, at least until there is confirmation of mitigated risk. The leagues, the teams, the municipalities, the stadium/arena authorities, will not push the risk level. Trump will threaten the leagues with their antitrust exemption, at least if he’s smart he will, but they may not be enough.

    There will not be sports until at least September. But, we will keep bailing out corporations with cakes and throwing enough crumbs to the people to keep them dependent on the government. The ironic part is that most of the people dependent on the federal government now are still screaming “states rights”, blast “socialism” (without really understanding it, not saying I agree with it), and blasting those dependent on the government, or SNAP recipients, or those with veteran’s benefits. The irony is just too rich.

    Oh, and there will be no sports for at least 5 months.

  7. Why is it an “eyebrow raiser” to have White and McMahon on the call?

    They represent bigger draws than the NBA and PGA tour..

  8. They should all be there. Who knows what is going to be said. This should be about as exciting as Pre Season week 2 game

  9. Adding to what I wrote in an earlier comment:

    The only reasons we may see the Premier League in England complete their season are otherwise having to pay back at least $500 Million to television partners for cancelled games and otherwise being sued by clubs currently in the English League Championship (aka The Football League, one level below the Premier League) because there is relegation from/promotion to The Premier League at stake with the bottom three in the Premier League relegated to the English League Championship and the top three in the latter promoted to the Premier League (actually the two top and the winner of playoffs between the third through sixth place teams in The Football league getting promoted).

  10. Vince McMahon is 3 times the businessman as any other commissioner in American sports, not to mention the WWE is more popular than every other sport league other than the NFL.

  11. Please, whatever you do, don’t mention that Wrestlemania was taped a week and a half ago on closed sets with no fans.
    Wouldn’t want to spread misinformation about organizations putting people at risk.

  12. What a couple of dudes rolling around on a mat, straddling one another, spitting, slobbering, heavily breathing on one another, rubbing each-others sweat all over themsleves,and rubbing each others snarling faces together will SPREADS CORONA?

    Psst child please. Flu kills more people anyway.

  13. How are the athletes supposed to get to these events?
    Players are still subject to stay-at-home orders.
    Airports are technically open, but hotels are closed.
    Where are they going to stay?

  14. “The President’s call with sports league commissioners includes a couple of guys who aren’t really sports league commissioners. And their presence suggests what one of the messages delivered could be.”

    Actually…it just suggests he wants to talk to everyone in the business of large scale spectator events.

  15. If the commissioner of the WNBA, which plays in front of largely empty arenas already, is on the call then White and McMahon should absolutely be included.

  16. He will pressure them into business-as-usual. And they, collectively, will tell him to do his job, and let them do theirs.

  17. (Omitted from the list are the NCAA, the XFL, and the ATP.) Seems someone forgot that McMahon owns both the WWE and the XFL, so he’s pulling double duty.

  18. PrimeTime says:
    April 4, 2020 at 11:44 am
    Vince McMahon???
    Since when was “wrestling” a sport?
    ————————————————

    They have events in basketball and football stadiums/arenas with thousands and thousands of people. It’s not hard to understand why Vince would be on this call.

  19. They should be there. McMahon owns the XFL and WWE, and Dana White is in charge of the UFC. All contact sports with large public audiences.

  20. osott says:
    April 4, 2020 at 12:16 pm
    This is the best use of the presidents time right now?
    __________________________________________________
    He’s doing 90 – 120 minute coronavirus breifings every day, works constantly, and only ever sleeps 3 or 4 hours a night. He’s got plenty of time.

  21. Weird how many people are so willing to ignore that WWE and UFC are more like tennis or the olynpics, than a sports league with schedules and travel to multiple cities as teams. Organizationally they are a different species. So, yes, it is odd that they would be lumped in with the “major league” sports.

  22. Let’s remember Don did a swell job as owner of the New Jersey Generals and basically destroyed the USFL.

  23. I thought the WNBA folded years ago. And if it didn’t, why would it matter to them since no one attended their games before anyways.

  24. this is what the president does in place of a call to 50+ Governors to set up a coherent national policy?

  25. What a couple of dudes rolling around on a mat, straddling one another, spitting, slobbering, heavily breathing on one another, rubbing each-others sweat all over themsleves,and rubbing each others snarling faces together will SPREADS CORONA?
    ——-
    What the hell kind of wrestling are you watching?

  26. There shouldn’t be a conference call with them at all. These people are in the entertainment business. They offer no assistance with the problem at hand and any measures they take to continue their product right now would violate all the principles aimed at mitigating the pandemic. If you are going crazy because there is no sports on TV, well, that’s a YOU issue.

  27. Trump has destroyed our economy and now he is looking for distractions. I hope the leagues tell him to pound sand and tell him they will re-start in 2021.

  28. For the UFC and NFL in particular there SHOULD be another consideration. A large percentage of UFC matches require hospital visits for the loser, there are lots of broken orbital bones, snapped legs, concussions, lacerated eyebrows, etc. Probably most NFL games involve a serious injury also. You can play in an empty stadium, but if you expect every event to send one or more athletes to a crowded hospital full of COVID-19 patients and nurses who are out of masks, that may be where the biggest danger is. Also all sports teams have a team of coaches who are usually 60+ years old. Coaches in the UFC are less in number and tend to be younger and only need to be coaching for 15 minutes. Also the UFC is owned by a Middle Eastern company that may not have US as its top interest. If they want to hold the events in their native middle east, great.

  29. Brian Grayson says:
    April 4, 2020 at 2:42 pm
    Trump has destroyed our economy and now he is looking for distractions. I hope the leagues tell him to pound sand and tell him they will re-start in 2021.
    ___________________
    Great display of ignorance… Jeesh…

  30. Trump has destroyed our economy and now he is looking for distractions. I hope the leagues tell him to pound sand and tell him they will re-start in 2021.

    I don’t care who’s in office, the economy was going to get ruined by this. But nice try.

  31. What a couple of dudes rolling around on a mat, straddling one another, spitting, slobbering, heavily breathing on one another, rubbing each-others sweat all over themsleves,and rubbing each others snarling faces together will SPREADS CORONA?
    ——-
    What the hell kind of wrestling are you watching?
    ——-
    Ha that is awesome. Maybe UFC has changed since I watched it last. I think it is a cool league and respect a grueling fight such as what I described. Obviously not all are like that, but I am fairly certain I have seen plenty that are. I thought my description was spot on and stand behind it. Respect to Tank Abbot.

  32. dreemeagle says:
    April 4, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    this is what the president does in place of a call to 50+ Governors to set up a coherent national policy?

    ——————

    You do realize that placing a conference call with the sports commissioners does not prevent him from speaking with governors later on. Have you ever worked in an office before where you finish several tasks during the day??

  33. pbhansen says:
    “Trump is a serial liar and an incompetent narcissist….etc., etc. etc.”

    ——————

    Sounds like you copied that straight out of a left-wing propaganda pamphlet.

  34. One would think that participants in Wrestlemania were tested for Covid and found negative at least? I haven’t really read up on that aspect of it, but saw some of it last nite and it was awesome. AJ Stiles, RIP

    Its entertainment, pure and simple. Just like the NFL, NHL etc etc

  35. I guess if I were Donald “This is just like the flu” Trump, I’d very badly want sports to start up again to distract the people from the utter goat rodeo that he’s leading.

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