Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday, President Donald Trump urged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to allow the University of Michigan to play college football this fall.
“We want a governor that’s going to let Michigan play Big 10 football this year,” Trump said, referring to Whitmer.
Trump noted that student-athletes in the Big 10 conference were eager to play football, but that the governors in Michigan and Maryland were not helping it reopen. Both the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland are in the Big 10 Conference.
“You would be better if you had a governor who knew what the hell what she was doing,” Trump said.
The president spoke about the controversy during a campaign rally at an airport in Freeland, Michigan on Thursday evening.
Trump has personally lobbied the Big 10 Commissioner Kevin Warren to reopen football this fall, and remains optimistic that a decision can be made.
“You have a very good commissioner and the commissioner is working hard and hopefully very soon they’ll say you’re going to play football,” Trump said as the crowd cheered.
The Big 10 presidents of colleges and universities are expected to meet again this week to discuss reopening after they voted 11-3 in August to postpone all fall sports due to the coronavirus.
But Trump said it was time to move forward.
“Open up your state Madam Governor, open up your state,” Trump said, praising the University of Michigan team for having “great football,” a “great coach,” and a “great team.”
Whitmer on Wednesday clarified an executive order ordering athletes to wear a mask at all times unless they can maintain 6 ft of social distancing, such as football, soccer, and volleyball.
Trump also pointed to Whitmer’s hypocrisy, citing a story of her husband calling a boat company over Memorial Day weekend to get his boat moved into the water despite the governor’s order to lock the state down.
“Just like crazy Nancy Pelosi, your governor is a liberal hypocrite that lives by a different set of rules,” Trump said.