In regard to football and COVID-19 Tuesday, President Donald Trump took on hostile fire from New York magazine and found safe harbor in a discussion with Clay Travis on Fox Sports Radio. NY mag's Will Leitch blamed the president and a lack of federal guidelines for the crumbling of the 2020 college football season. President Trump said college players have been working hard in hopes of playing, and he welcomes back NFL play if it's without kneeling.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 are reportedly about ready to cancel their football seasons, and the Mid-American Conference has already done so. Blame the impending lost season on Trump, Leitch says. His federal government did not provide adequate guidance on "certain procedures" or a national contact tracing program: "Which is to say: If you’re looking for a reason why college sports might not come back, one might consider pointing first at the White House.
With college football on the brink, President Trump is trying to leverage the crisis to his political benefit on Twitter, Leitch charges.
"It is worth asking: How much of this is Trump’s fault? And how much of this is the sport’s inherent inequities catching up with it? And how did this become a partisan issue? The irony of Donald Trump and his loyalists weighing in on this is rich, since he is one of the reasons there likely won’t be a college-football season this year, as is the backward way colleges and many college-football fans have been responding to the pandemic."
While Trump blamed the virus on China in his discussion with Travis, Leitch pins the impending loss of college football on the U.S. president and stubborn people binded to him and against science.
NY mag accuses Trump's friends -- GOP governors in Florida and Georgia -- with reckless re-opening of their states. It's also fashionable among conservative college football fans, who despise biased media and who rely on Facebook for epidemiological advice, to treat others as alarmists who are just hyping the virus in hopes of getting rid of President Trump. "The official term for these people is 'coronabros,'” Leitch adds.
Reporting on Trump's Tuesday interview with Travis, the Outkick blog mentioned his Monday Tweet sympathizing with college players who've worked hard to get ready for the season:
“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay,” Trump said on Twitter.
The president had much more to say about pro football in his discussion with Travis. He said, while chuckling, that NFL owners know very well his feelings on protest:
“Well they want to open and they want to open badly and they’ve been working with government. I would say this — if they don’t stand for the national anthem I hope they don’t open. But other than that I’d love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible to get them open. They can protest in other ways. I don’t think they should they should protest our flag or our country.”
Protests have been "horrible" for the NBA and its bowing to China is "dumb," the president commented.
"I think it’s horrible for basketball ratings. They’re down to very, very low numbers. People are angry about it. They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re driving down, going up for the shot. There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. I think the NBA’s in big trouble — bigger trouble than they understand. ... I did not like what baseball did. You have to stand for the flag. ...”
For that reason, President Trump also told Travis that Michael Jordan was a better player than LeBron James, the overly active social justice warrior obsessed with politics while his 2-4 Los Angeles Lakers flounder in the NBA's Florida bubble.