In mid-April 2020, controversy consumed the Trump administration over the goal of “reopening the economy,” meaning restarting commerce and businesses forced to shut down during the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic.
In efforts to achieve this, U.S. President Donald Trump convened what he dubbed the “Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups,” a consortium of leaders from various industries, such as transportation, retail, banking, and hospitality. The names of those leaders were made available via an April 14, 2020 announcement from the White House.
Included on that long list was Vince McMahon, CEO Of World Wrestling Entertainment, better known as WWE.
A headline from the British tabloid Metro circulating on Facebook (“Donald Trump names WWE’s Vince McMahon as adviser to restart US economy”) highlighted McMahon’s involvement, prompting inquiries as to whether it was really true — and it was.
McMahon was among a total of 16 sports executives representing golf, football, basketball, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and NASCAR racing, on the White House’s list.
McMahon has a history with the president that includes being tackled and having his head shaved by Trump during WrestleMania’s “Battle of the Billionaires” in 2011.
Although McMahon was truly included in Trump’s advisory group announcement, his was far from the only name mentioned and he did not appear to have been given any special role compared to the other business leaders listed. So it appears as though his name may have been singled out in headlines for sensational effect.