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California governor doesn’t anticipate fans in stands at start of NFL season

Donald Trump thinks football will be able to get going on time with fans in the stands, according to a report. California governor Gavin Newsom thinks otherwise.

A general view of the 49ers logo on the field before the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Here is Governor Newsom’s full comment.

Donald Trump held a conference call with the commissioners of North American sports leagues on Saturday, and the president told the commissioners that he thinks the NFL season should start on time in September, per ESPN. He also said he thinks he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September.

California governor Gavin Newsom pushed back on that immediately. Newsom was having a daily press briefing and was asked about the NFL starting on time with fans in the stands in California stadiums. He said, “I’m not anticipating that happening in this state,” according to reporter Ronald Brownstein.

California is home to the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams, and Los Angeles Chargers. The NFL has been bullish in public about starting the season on time, but earlier this week the league’s chief medical officer pumped the brakes a bit, on just starting the season — let alone with fans attending. He said there will need to be widespread testing with quick results for even fan-less games.

It’s worth noting that Trump previously said he thought the pandemic might be resolved by Easter. The NFL, and all other leagues, will likely return when the virus dictates it can happen.