Former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will not speak at next week’s Republican National Convention, he clarified on Instagram Thursday.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Tebow would give a speech at the convention. Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy while at Florida in 2007, was reportedly set to speak on the fourth night of the convention, the same night presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to formally accept the party’s nomination in his own speech.
Tebow recorded an Instagram video to deny the report. “My goal has always been able to make a difference in the biggest way possible, and if one day that’s the political realm, that’s what I’ll do.” He added that he is focused on running his foundation in the interim.
Trump has repeatedly promised to eschew a traditional nominating convention, where speeches are usually given by politicians. While a number of elected officials and political figures will reportedly speak when Republican delegates convene in Cleveland next week, Trump has invited a number of unconventional speakers.
UFC president Dana White and LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis will also speak at the convention, according to the Times. White will speak on the second night of the convention, according to a preliminary list the Times obtained.
Tebow hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2012 season, when he was a member of the Jets. Tebow, whose conservative politics are well known, is a prominent social conservative and is outspoken about his pro-life views.
Trump has frequently touted his friendships with athletes on the campaign trail, often speaking of his relationship with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Earlier reports suggested Mike Tyson, Bobby Knight and Mike Ditka could also speak at the convention, but none of the three is on The New York Times’s list.
Several prominent Republican figures, including 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and former President George W. Bush, will not attend the convention.
The 2016 Republican National Convention begins on Monday. It will conclude next Thursday.
- Stanley Kay