President Trump seeks to make sports central part of economic revival

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President Donald Trump spoke with sports leaders Wednesday, expressing his desire to make sports a central part America’s economic revival, according to a press pool report.

The report sates that Lesa France Kennedy, executive vice chair, represented NASCAR on the call. Others on the call included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred.

According to the press pool report: “The President expressed optimism to the major sports organizations that are eager to get their athletes back on courts, courses, and fields of play, and for the millions of sports fans who are missing their favorite teams and players. Leaders of the sports organizations expressed appreciation for the President’s attention to their industry and offered innovative input on social distancing guidelines.

“President Trump acknowledged the important role that sports play in American life and expressed his desire to make sports a central part of the great American economic revival.”

MORE: Dr. Anthony Fauci on how sports can return: Regular testing, no fans

MORE: N.C. Gov: “Our new normal” may have no in-person crowds for awhile

President Trump held a call with sports league executives April 4. That call included NASCAR President Steve Phelps. President Trump later said in a press briefing that day:

I want fans back in the arenas. Whenever we’re ready and as soon as we can, obviously. The fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out on the golf courses and breath nice clean beautiful air.

“I can’t tell you a date, but I think it’s going to be sooner rather than later. We’re not going to have to have separation for the rest of our times on the planet. We need it for this period of time. Eventually, people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas next to each other like we have for all of my life and all of your life.”

NASCAR has postponed seven races through May 3 at Dover International Speedway. NASCAR’s next scheduled race is May 9 at Martinsville Speedway, but Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order from March 30 to June 10. The next scheduled events after that would be All-Star weekend (May 14-16) and Coca-Cola 600 weekend (May 22-24) at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.

According to the press pool report, these were the individuals on Wednesday’s call with President Trump:

* Todd Ricketts—Chicago Cubs
* Jerry Jones—Dallas Cowboys
* Mark Cuban—Dallas Mavericks
* Ari Emanuel— Endeavor
* Robert Kraft—The Kraft Group
* Mike Whan—LPGA
* Robert Manfred— MLB
* Don Garber—MLS
* Adam Silver—NBA
* Lesa Kennedy—NASCAR
* Mark Emmert—NCAA
* Roger Goodell—NFL
* Gary Bettman—NHL
* Lisa Baird—NWSL
* Jay Monahan—PGA TOUR
* Dana White—UFC
* Sarah Hirshland—U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee
* Patrick Galbraith—USTA
* Cathy Engelbert—WNBA
* Vince McMahon—WWE

Kyle Busch ‘wins’ WWE title, only to lose it moments later


Kyle Busch won another championship Monday night, only to lose it a short while later, the shortest-tenured title he has ever held.

But like his father has done so many times in come-from-behind wins on the racetrack, Busch’s young son Brexton came to the rescue and took the title back to regain the family’s honor.

The elder Busch, wife Samantha and Brexton were in Nashville, where he’ll be honored Thursday for earning his second NASCAR Cup championship, when they attended WWE’s “Monday Night Raw.”

Busch, with Michael Waltrip serving as “referee,” won the WWE’s “24/7” championship belt after Rowdy — see, he already has a great wrestling nickname — snuck up behind real WWE wrestler and reigning 24/7 champ R-Truth (aka Ron Killings) and pinned the grappler, with Waltrip calling out a three-count to make it all look official.

By “winning” the 24/7 championship, Busch was essentially ordained to be ready to defend the belt 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where, when or against whomever.

Busch proudly toted his belt around the arena in celebration until R-Truth did his own sneak-up job a short while later, pinning Busch by his dressing room and reclaiming the 24/7 belt.

Not for long, though, as little 4-year-old Brexton did his own stealth move, grabbing the belt from a distracted R-Truth and running away to infamy, putting the Busch family name back in good standing in WWE annals.

But alas, there was a bit more drama, per mama Samantha’s Twitter feed: Kyle suffered a significant injury in the process of all the wrasslin’ exploits.

We’re not making this up, folks. Check out the storyline(s) from social media:

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WWE superstar John Cena named honorary pace car driver for Daytona 500

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Right after the command to start engines occurs for the upcoming Daytona 500, World Wrestling Entertainment star and actor John Cena will get ready to rumble.

A 15-time WWE Heavyweight Champion, Cena on Friday was named honorary pace car driver for The Great American Race at Daytona International Speedway.

Sitting behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry, Cena will lead the way for the new, smaller 40-car field to the green flag.

Cena as an actor recently appeared in the movies “Trainwreck” and “Sisters” and will host the upcoming competition series American Grit on Fox.

The 58th Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 21.

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Eddie Gossage embraces Keselowski, Gordon fight to promote Texas Motor Speedway


DALLAS – Of the many billboards scattered throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 20 serve the whims of Texas Motor Speedway and its president, Eddie Gossage.

The advertisements for the April 11 Duck Commander 500 have two purposes: reminders to the faithful and beacons to the curious.

They’re reminders of the pit road brawl between Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and their respective team members following last November’s AAA Texas 500.

Ten billboards show a stern looking Gordon with the proclamation of “Gordon’s Last Stand!”

The other 10 show Keselowski touching a bloodied lip and the declaration of “Left turns and right crosses!”

TMS President Eddie Gossage has no qualms about using the fight and its images to bring attention to his 1.5-mile track.

“None that I can think of,” Gossage said Tuesday at the track’s Media Day at the House of Blues. “Not a single solitary thing. I think that was incredibly conservative.”

In fact, Gossage had to be convinced not to turn it up a notch.

“First confrontation I’ve seen where actual blood was spilled,” Gossage said. “That was the kind of billboard I wanted to go with, but the staff talked me off of that one. Anyway, you got to have fun with this stuff. Don’t take it so seriously. He just got hit in the mouth, it’s not like (Keselowski) got hurt.”

At least one of the fight’s participants was aware that Gossage would use it to its full advantage in the immediate aftermath. Gossage talked with Gordon about a month after the race, which was won by Jimmie Johnson.

“(Gordon) was in Victory Lane after it was over,” Gossage recalled. “He was just standing over there waiting for (ESPN) to interview him and he said, ‘I looked over and I saw you and thought, ‘… of all places for me to do this, why does it have to be here? Because I know what you’re going to do.’ ”

Gossage’s reply?

“Come on, man, give me a challenge.”

His next challenge to market his track could come next year. World Wrestling Entertainment brings it marquee event to AT&T Stadium in Arlington on April 3.

“You know Wrestlemania is going to be in town next year and we’ll hook up with them too,” Gossage said.

Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway