Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has ruled that pro wrestling is an essential business and should be allowed to operate during the statewide stay-at-home period in April. Some might find it odd that wrestling is in the same class as pharmacies, grocery stores and banks. But of course there is more to the story. The Miami Herald writes:
“At a press conference Monday, Orange County (Orlando) Mayor Jerry Demings was asked whether WWE would continue operations. He said that WWE was not originally deemed an “essential business,” a designation allowing it to stay open during the state’s “shelter-in-place” order. However, a conversation with DeSantis changed that.“
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been taping the performances at an empty arena in Orlando. ESPN writes:
“According to the memo sent by the governor’s office on Thursday, recent additions to the list of “essential services” in the state include “employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience — including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production — only if the location is closed to the general public.”
“A spokesperson from DeSantis’ office told ESPN on Monday that such services were characterized as essential “because they are critical to Florida’s economy.”
So what was behind the move to keep wrestling going while most businesses are shut down?
Linda McMahon is the co-founder of WWE, along with her husband Vince. Ms. McMahon is also the former head of the Small Business Administration, appointed by Donald Trump. Now, she chairs the America First PAC, a pro-Trump Super-PAC.