Tim Tebow to Donald Trump: Thanks, but no thanks

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Former Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow now says reports of him speaking at next week's Republican National Convention are simply "rumors."

Will he, or won’t he?

Late Thursday night, former Eagles quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow seemed to push back on reports that he would be speaking at the Republican National Convention, calling them “rumors.”

"It's amazing how fast rumors fly. And that's exactly what it is, a rumor,” Tebow said in the video, posted on Instagram.

While never fully saying he won’t appear in Cleveland on behalf of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, Tebow told his followers that his preference at the moment is on his philanthropic ventures and not the world of politics.

“My goal has always been to be able to make a difference in the biggest way possible. If, one day, that's in the political realm, that's what I'll do,” Tebow said. “But right now I really believe that's through my foundation."

Watch the video:

A video posted by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on Jul 14, 2016 at 5:42pm PDT


Sean Spicer, the communications director for the RNC, confirmed to CNN's Chris Cuomo on Friday morning that Tebow is "out" and will not be speaking at next week's convention. 

The Trump campaign has not responded to repeated requests for comment about Tebow’s on-again, off-again role with the party’s convention in Cleveland.

Earlier on Thursday, The Associated Press reported that Trump's campaign confirmed Tebow’s role as a featured speaker on the last day of next week’s convention.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who was first to report the list of scheduled speakers for the convention, defended the newspaper's reporting, saying it was sources from within the Trump campaign that confirmed Tebow's speaking role. 

Tebow's name, however, did not appear on a partial list of speakers released by the RNC Thursday morning. But it promises there will be more names.

Before he posted his video, reaction to Tebow's scheduled appearance was quickly criticized and lampooned on social media:

Back in June, Trump told supporters: “We’re going to do it a little different, if it’s OK. I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”

Tebow has hinted at a future in politics, telling Fox News Channel’s Ainsley Earhard in March, “If there’s a chance that you can make a difference, some day, in something, then that would be intriguing.”

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Trump used his charity’s money to pay $12,000 for sports memorabilia signed by Tebow, including a Denver Broncos helmet and a New York Jets jersey (photo courtesy of the Susan G. Komen foundation, which benefited from the auction).

One surprising omission from the list of speakers is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has called Trump “a good friend of mine” and was spotted harboring a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. Trump told WEEI Radio in Boston that he also won’t be receiving Brady’s endorsement.

“He’s got sponsors; he’s got all of his different things that he has to do,” Trump said, “and I told him not to.”

Trump also said he planned to ask Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Brian France, the chief executive of NASCAR, but neither appears on the program. Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, is scheduled to speak on the second night of the convention, where the focus will be on the economy.