So which is the less reliable narrator — Donald Trump or the NFL? It’s a fascinating debate to consider when you hear this story.
Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, was asked by ABC News in an interview whether he liked the idea of three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate. Trump mentioned that he didn’t like the timing of the debates — especially given that they’re slated opposite two prime-time NFL games.
“I’ll tell you what I don’t like,” Trump said. “It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous.'”
The NFL denies any letter being sent to Trump, via league spokesman Brian McCarthy.
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 30, 2016
Trump later added: “I don’t think we should be against the NFL. I don’t know how the dates are picked.”
And he tweeted:
As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2016
The debates are scheduled currently for Sept. 26, Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. The Atlanta Falcons play at the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 26, which is a Monday, on ESPN. The New York Giants are facing the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 9, which is a Sunday night, on NBC.
Could the league feasibly have reached out to Trump? Perhaps. But why write him? Yes, Trump is capable of throwing a fit and causing the date(s) to be changed, but it’s not his call solely. Perhaps the league reached out to The Commission on Presidential Debates to get something done about those dates (McCarthy’s tweet is vague on that), but we’re not aware of that. Besides, the CPD locked in those dates nearly a year ago — before we knew the candidates or what the NFL schedule might look like.
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