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Tim Tebow’s days on the football field are most likely over, but his days in the political arena are just beginning. The (probably) former NFL quarterback is among a list of speakers slated to speak at next week’s Republican National Convention, according to the New York Times.
Tebow is one of a handful of sports figures scheduled to speak on behalf of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Others include professional golfer Natalie Gulbis and UFC president Dana White. Not on the initial list, and unlikely to appear at all, are Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Ditka, and Mike Tyson, sports figures whom Trump had pledged would speak on his behalf apparently without checking with them first; all have declined openly or offered no public comment. Tebow is slated to open the fourth and final night of the convention, at which Trump himself will speak.
Tebow has thrown exactly eight passes in the NFL since 2011, hasn’t played a game since 2012, and has missed out on two attempts to catch on with teams during preseasons. But he remains one of the best-known and most popular athletes in sports, and he’s also entertained the idea of getting into politics. This might just be the boost he’s seeking with the conservative base he counts as his strongest support.
Trump has a bit of history with Tebow, but it’s likely not one they’ll highlight at the convention. In 2012, Trump won a bidding auction for a signed Tebow helmet and jersey … but paid $12,000 for the items with a check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation, according to a recent Washington Post investigation. Trump did not reimburse the foundation, and unless he disposed of the helmet and jersey in a very specific fashion, would have violated IRS rules by using charitable funds—i.e. other people’s money—for personal enrichment. Regardless, it was not a great investment by any measure: the Post indicated that the items Trump paid $12,000 for four years ago would be worth about $415 now.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.