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Donald Trump held a conference call with commissioners from North American sports leagues Saturday to discuss their responses to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The president said he believes the NFL schedule should start on time in September, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Included in the call were Adam Silver (NBA), Cathy Engelbert (WNBA), Rob Manfred (MLB), Roger Goodell (NFL), Gary Bettman (NHL), Don Garber (MLS), Jay Monahan (PGA Tour), Dana White (UFC), Vince McMahon (WWE), and representatives from IndyCar, NASCAR, LPGA, and Breeders Cup.
The White House released a statement following the meeting, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports:
"Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke by telephone with commissioners of major league sports to discuss the all-of-America response to COVID-19. 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.
"The commissioners thanked President Trump for his national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry. President Trump encouraged them to continue to support their fellow Americans during this challenging time."
Trump reportedly added during the call that he hopes to have fans at sporting events by August and September, though it's unclear whether that will be deemed safe by health officials.
Leagues have been on indefinite pause over the past few weeks amid the global outbreak. The NFL, currently in the heart of its offseason, has no plans as of yet to change its 2020 schedule, though the upcoming draft later in April will be held without fans and with teams submitting picks virtually from their own locations.