Trump announces sports advisory panel

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference before the NBA preseason basketball game between Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan Oct. 8, 2019. (Kyodo. Kyodo / via REUTERS)

Saying, "We have to get our sports back," President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is forming a committee to advise him about the resumption of sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump said he would meet with the leaders of U.S. sports organizations in groups and individually. In all, he named the 11 sports commissioners or chiefs plus three team owners: Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks.

The remaining list of leaders Trump named: NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, UFC president Dana White, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, LPGA commissioner Michael Whan, U.S. Tennis Association chairman Patrick Galbraith, MLS commissioner Don Garber, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, NASCAR vice chairperson Lesa Kennedy and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Kraft and Jones have supported Trump in the past, while Cuban has been a vocal opponent. As recently as Sunday, Cuban refused to rule out a bid for the presidency later this year.

Cuban, in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said of the appointment by Trump, "I'll do what I can to help."


Trump said regarding the absence of sports, "I'm tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old. But I haven't actually had too much time to watch. I would say maybe I watch one batter and then I get back to work."

The NBA became the first U.S.-based sports league to shut down amid the pandemic, halting play on March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Virtually all other major U.S. sports organizations shut down in the next few days, though the WWE has continued with matches from behind closed doors.

The UFC also hopes to be back as soon as May 9, White told ESPN on Tuesday.

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