Earlier in the week, Trump gave his support for the players’ movement expressing their desire to play football this season amid the coronavirus outbreak that is still plaguing the U.S. Lawrence is among the leaders of the #WeWantToPlay movement calling on conferences and colleges to not cancel their seasons.
Trump said Orgeron “feels his players just want to be out there.” Oregon expressed the same sentiment Tuesday in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom.”
The president explained in an interview with Outkick’s Clay Travis on Tuesday that college football’s cancelation would be a “tragic mistake”
Trump, citing a doctor, said because the college football athletes are in good shape, they would have less of a chance to contract the coronavirus and he didn’t expect them to have any issues with it.
“The other thing is, somebody was explaining to me, one of the great doctors, he said that these people are so powerful and so strong, not lots of body fat – perhaps you can take some offensive lineman and dispute that – but not a lot of body fat and maybe none in some cases and they’re very healthy people. People don’t realize this but a tiny percentage of people that get sick … they’re old. It just attacks old people, especially old people with bad hearts, diabetes or some kind of a physical problem,” he said.
“This attacks older people very viciously by the way. It can be if it’s the wrong person. These football players are very young, strong people physically. Physically, they’re in extraordinary shape. So they’re not gonna have a problem. You’re gonna see people … you know could it happen but I doubt it. You’re not gonna see people dying and many people get it and they’re gonna have … kids they get it and they have the sniffles … it’s almost none have a serious problem with it. I mean literally. I think they said the state of California, almost nobody that young, like zero, had a problem with being a serious problem with this disease. They get better very quickly if they get it at all.”
He added that he thought “football is making a tragic mistake” while marveling at the atmosphere of the games he attended last season. Trump appeared at the LSU–Alabama and Army-Navy contests and the national championship game between LSU and Clemson.
The Big Ten, Pac-12, Big East, Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences have already postponed their fall sports schedules.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.