The Commission on Presidential Debates on Sunday suggested it likely will not reschedule the debates that fall on the same night as NFL games despite Donald Trump complaining about the timing.
The GOP presidential nominee earlier this week griped about two upcoming debates against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that are scheduled at the same time as football games.
“I’ll tell you what I don’t like,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday. “It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous.’ I don’t think we should be against the NFL. I don’t know how the dates are picked.”
An NFL spokesman said in a statement that the football league did not write a letter, but “we obviously prefer the debates on a different night than scheduled games,” according to ABC.
The non-partisan debates commission said in a statement to CNNMoney that it’s “impossible to avoid all sporting events,” adding that a debate has never been rescheduled because it overlapped with a game.
“The [commission] started working more than 18 months ago to identify religious and federal holidays, baseball league playoff games, NFL games, and other events in order to select the best nights for the 2016 debates,” the statement said.
“The CPD selects the debate dates a year in advance in order for the television networks to have maximum lead time and predictability in scheduling these extremely important civic education forums. The CPD believes the dates for the 2016 debates will serve the American public well,” it continued.
The first presidential debate will take place on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The second debate is set for Oct. 9 in St. Louis and the third on Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.
Jason Miller, senior communications adviser with the Trump campaign, told CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday that the first two debates go head-to-head with big NFL games.
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