Dr. Oz & 6 More Trump Picks For The Sports, Fitness, & Nutrition Council You Weren't Expecting
On Friday, President Trump announced his appointments to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, a panel that's existed since 1956 to advise the president on policy matters related to healthy living. There are several unexpected picks for Trump's sports, fitness, and nutrition council, including Dr. Oz, several well-known sports figures and an actor who used to play the Incredible Hulk.
"PCSFN engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition," the council says on its website. "Since 1956, the Council has created and promoted programs and initiatives that motivate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be active and eat healthy."
Trump announced his picks to the PCSFN days after formally designating May National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The president said in his announcement that "at the root of a healthy America are healthy citizens," and encouraged Americans to "adopt an exercise routine that allows them to reap the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle."
"This month, we celebrate and promote the benefits of physical activity and recognize those selfless individuals who volunteer their time and resources to make it possible for our Nation’s youth to participate in sports programs," Trump said in his proclamation.
Trump's appointments to the PCSFN are in the spirit of the month's theme, and there are a couple of surprising names on the list.
One of the most famous members of the council will be Dr. Mehmet Oz, the television host and alternative health guru. It's a controversial pick: In 2014, the British Medical Journal published a study finding that over half of the medical claims Oz made on his show were either unsubstantiated or actively contradicted by existing research and evidence.
New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick will also serve on the council. In a statement, he said that "the physical fitness of children in our country is an apolitical issue that is extremely important to our future," and that he's "eager to lend any assistance I can to [the council's] ongoing mission." Belichick added that it was Ivanka Trump who invited him to join the council.
Oz and Belichick will be joined by Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder and actor. Ferrigno is most famous for playing The Hulk; he did so in the 1970s TV series The Incredible Hulk, and went on to voice the Hulk in the 2008 film of the same name. He also played himself in the 2009 comedy I Love You, Man.
One of the three co-chairs on the council will be Misty May-Treanor, the former beach volleyball player. May-Treanor took home gold medals at three straight Olympic games and three straight World Championships before retiring from the sport in 2012.
Former MLB player Johnny Damon has also been appointed to the PCSFN. Damon was an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and various other teams during his professional career, and was once a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice.
Damon's former teammate Mariano Rivera will serve as one of the council's co-chairs. Rivera played for the Yankees for 19 years and holds several league records. He's been honored for his philanthropic efforts as well: The Mariano Rivera Foundation donates $500,000 every year to underprivileged children in Panama and the U.S., according to the New York Times.
Finally, Trump's sports council will include professional golfer Natalie Gulbis. She's no stranger to the president: Gulbis has golfed with Trump before, and spoke in support of his candidacy at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
According to Trump's announcement, all appointees to the council will serve two-year terms.