Trump asks Patriots’ Robert Kraft, Cowboys’ Jerry Jones to help restart economy after coronavirus pandemic

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 14, 2020.AP

The commissioners of the four major professional leagues and the owners of the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots were among those named Tuesday to a White House committee of sports executives to recommend how to restart the economy after the coronavirus outbreak.

Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Robert Kraft of the Patriots will serve on the sports panel, one of several industry advisory committees named by President Donald Trump to play a role in federal efforts to help the economy recover from the coronavirus.

“We want to get our sports back,” Trump said at the White House during his daily coronavirus press conference. “I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old.”

Trump plans to talk to the group on Wednesday.

Major League Baseball has yet to start its season, while the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League curtailed theirs in response to the spread of COVID-19. Trump expressed hope that the National Football League will be able to start its season on time in September, according to ESPN.

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Kraft contributed $1 million to Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee. And he sent the Patriots team plane to China to pick up more than one million masks to protect first responders and health care workers in the U.S. fighting the coronavirus.

Trump earlier this month held a conference call with several sports executives, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. All are on the sports committee.

So too is World Wide Entertainment owner Vince McMahon, whose wife, Linda, served as the head of the Small Business Administration under Trump and now chairs the pro-Trump super political action committee America First Action. She gave $6 million to another pro-Trump super PAC in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The other members are Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, Ladies Professional Golf Association Mike Whan, U.S. Tennis Association President Patrick Galbraith, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, NASCAR executive vice chair Lesa Kennedy, Women’s National Basketball Association Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, National Women’s Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird, and and Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White.

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Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at jsalant@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on Facebook. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

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