Trump asks Bill Belichick, Mariano Rivera, Herschel Walker, Misty May-Treanor to join sports council

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, retired MLB closer Mariano Rivera and Olympic gold medal-winning beach volleyball star Misty May-Treanor are among those set to be appointed to President Trump’s Council on Sports and Fitness and Nutrition, the White House said Friday.

Others Trump intends to appoint to the council include golfer Natalie Gulbis, retired NFL star Herschel Walker and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Walker and Trump have a long history, with Walker having appeared on Trump’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” and Trump having signed Walker to play for the USFL’s New Jersey Generals when Trump owned the football team in the 1980s.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap to the crowd as he makes a curtain call after he left the game during the ninth inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 26, 2013. It was Rivera's final appearance at the Stadium as he is retiring at the end of the season. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL) - GM1E99R0VGP01

Retired MLB pitcher Mariano Rivera is the all-time leader in saves and won five World Series with the Yankees.


The president signed an executive order in February revamping the council to direct its focus towards encouraging children to play sports. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, spoke about the rebranding at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


Last week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said the president was on the phone with Belichick for “a long time,” The New York Times reported. Aside from the council, the two also apparently found time for gossip, reportedly discussing star Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his future with the team.

Misty May-Treanor (L) and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the U.S. celebrate defeating Italy's Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti during their women's quarterfinals beach volleyball match at Horse Guards Parade during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012.           REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (BRITAIN  - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT VOLLEYBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)   - LM2E8851G8T1R

Olympic gold-medal winning volleyball star Misty May-Treanor, left, was also reportedly appointed to President Trumps’ sports council.

Trump has called Belichick and Brady “friends” in the past and was gifted a Patriots Super Bowl ring last year.


The first meeting of the council would reportedly be hosted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. Ivanka Trump and Surgeon General Jerome Adams were also involved with the council. Axios reported Trump would welcome the council members to the White House and “host a sports field day on the South Lawn” on an unspecified date.

Television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz arrives to attend the funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York September 7, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY) - GM1EA971UF501

Dr. Mehmet Oz was also appointed to President Trump’s sports council.

The Trump administration was concerned “that youth sports participation has declined over the last decade, particularly among young girls and children from economically distressed communities,” a source told Axios.

Belichick released a statement saying he was “humbled to be asked and honored to accept, as I would have done for any administration.”

“I know that a lot of great leaders have participated on the Council over the past half century, some who are personal inspirations to me, and I am eager to lend any assistance I can to its ongoing mission,” he concluded. 

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