Roughly 200 business leaders assembled to help get U.S. economy up and running again.
UFC President Dana White and WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon have been assigned by U.S. President Donald Trump to a newly initiated Economy Task Force. The task force, comprised of business leaders from multiple industries including professional sports, has been assembled in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Presumably to formulate some sort of response, although details thus far are scant.
The spread of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) and the death toll from the resulting disease (COVID-19), as well as social distancing measures taken to slow its spread, have dealt a harsh blow to the economy. Not just in the U.S., but globally. With that in mind, Trump has put together a list of roughly 200 business representatives, who his administration will be “meeting by telephone, because we don’t want people traveling right now,” he said during the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing Tuesday.
White and McMahon — who Trump both called “great” — were named as representatives of the sporting world, alongside the likes of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The NBA, Major League Soccer, PGA, and other leagues were also listed, along with individual team owners including Mark Cuban and Robert Kraft.
Outside the sports realm, Bank of America, National Association of Home Builders, Lockheed Martin, MasterCard, VISA, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Subway, Pepsi, Wendy’s, Starbucks, FedEx, United Airlines, UPS, Facebook, IBM, Cisco, and Broadcom were named as participating. Among many, many others.
“We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are fourteen years old,” bemoaned Trump during the press conference. While most of the leagues went on hiatus early, the WWE (along with competitor AEW) have managed to continue producing content, as the predetermined nature of their contests eliminate the need for judges and athletic commissions — meaning they can produce shows with a skeleton crew.
The UFC fought tooth and nail to move forward with UFC 249 on April 18. However, a plan to host the event at the Tachi Palace Casino on tribal land in California was put to rest when the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, and democratic senator Dianne Feinstein spoke up against it. UFC broadcaster ESPN, owned by Disney, finally opted to pull the plug at that point. The UFC is now targeting May 9 as a return date.
Dana White has previously spoken in support of Donald Trump, including at the 2016 Republican National Convention.