- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2020

President Trump on Saturday spoke by phone with about a dozen commissioners or heads of major sports leagues, who have seen their businesses put on pause amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Among those on the call were National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, and National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver.

“The president recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the nation,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “The commissioners thanked President Trump for his national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry.”

The sports world has come to a virtual halt amid the COVID-19 outbreak, with outlets like ESPN forced into airing novelty programming and re-broadcasts of classic games.

ESPN reported that Mr. Trump said on the call he thinks the NFL’s 2020 season should start on time in September and that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, which had been slated to take place in Tokyo, Japan starting in July, have been postponed until July 2021.

The schedule for the NBA, which has suspended its 2019-2020 season, is tangentially tied to the 2020 presidential race.

The Democratic National Convention, which had originally been scheduled for July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been postponed until the week of August 17, officials announced this week.

The DNC is supposed to take place at the Fiserv Forum, the home of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks, one of the league’s top teams, had been poised to make a deep run into the playoffs that usually end in June.

Convention organizers said this week that they confirmed the arena will be available in August.

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