The University of Florida was recently denied after it tried to get alumni Tim Tebow to record a video against a white supremacy rally.
Last month, white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at the university but was eventually shouted down by an angry crowd.
“Say it loud! Say it clear! Nazis are not welcome here” chants taunted Spencer, who shouted back at the crowd, accused protestors of turning their “academic community into a stifling place.”
So in an effort to either calm or fan the flames of fury, the University of Florida invited Tebow to get involved for an anti-white supremacy message.
However, when the university reached out, his publicist declined the invitation. In a report obtained by The Huffington Post, a University of Florida official asked Tebow if he’d be interested in recording a video in response to Spencer:
Tebow was in Gainesville days before Spencer’s speech for “SEC Nation,” the ESPN college football show on which he serves as an analyst. Chrystal-Green reached out to assistant athletic director Jon Rubin with “a favor to ask.”
“I’m sure you have seen the news about a white nationalist coming to speak at UF on Oct. 19,” Chrystal-Green wrote in an Oct. 6 email. “One of the things we are doing is showing a virtual assembly during the speech. We are getting in contact with famous alums asking to record a brief message of unity, togetherness, Gator Nation, etc. Obviously a message from Tim Tebow would be a great addition. Is there an easy method by which to ask him?”
Rubin told Chrystal-Green to reach out to ESPN public relations officials about Tebow’s availability. An ESPN spokeswoman told HuffPost, “The university reached out to us to gauge Tim’s involvement in recording a video with regards to the Richard Spencer event at UF and we declined on his behalf.”
So the ESPN saga continues. Jemele Hill can call the sitting president a white supremacist but Tim Tebow remains silent. It’s not clear whether Tebow wanted to speak at his alma mater or not, but one thing’s for sure – the ESPN PR department has its hands full lately.