American Presidents do have an impact on sports, from Teddy Roosevelt using the bully pulpit of the Oval Office in an attempt to clean up college football more than 110 years ago to Franklin Roosevelt urging baseball owners to pay during World War II, to legislation concerning sports on TV to the AFL-NFL merger, to Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, to Bill Clinton’s failure to end the 1994 Major League Baseball Players strike, to Barack Obama’s failure to convince the International Olympic Committee to select Chicago as an Olympic host in 2016.
President Donald Trump’s background in golf and boxing probably won’t matter very much in a couple of sports decisions that he will face. Immediately, Trump and his administration will have to figure out whether they should support the 2024 Los Angeles Bid Committee’s attempt at getting those Olympics. Trump will have to decide whether to personally genuflect before the IOC to show seriousness since that is what the barons of the rings demand.
The IOC will decide on the 2024 Olympics site in the fall. The IOC will demand to see Trump as well as leaders from France as Paris has a bid and more than likely Hungary as Budapest has tossed a hat into the Olympics contest. The Budapest bid at the moment is being treated by Olympics opponents who want to hold a referendum in Hungary asking if Hungarians want the Games.
The other is Cuba and whether to continue the Obama administration’s thawing of the last remnants of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. Normalization of the relationship between the US and Cuba is important to Major League Baseball which, views Havana and Cuba as a good place to do business. The NBA also has set up shop on the island nation.
In sports, the Oval Office matters.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.