Football coach Ditka: 'Happy' to speak at GOP convention but not invited
© Getty

Storied former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka denied that he’s been asked to appear at the Republican National Convention in July to support Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE, but added that he would be willing to do so if invited. 


"No one's ever talked to me about it. I have no idea where it's coming from," Ditka told The Chicago Tribune of the rumors. 

"If [Trump] asks me, I'd be happy to do it. I've said before that I like him."

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday night that both Ditka and boxer Mike Tyson had agreed to appear at the convention, along with NASCAR executive Brian France and former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight.

The report did not specify what roles the sports stars would have at the event. But Trump tweeted later that same night to deny that Tyson, who was convicted of rape in the 1990s, had been asked to speak. 

Ditka clashed with Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaIt's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Assange hit with 17 new charges, including Espionage Act violations Progressive commentator says Obama was delusional thinking he could work with Republicans MORE during his brief foray into the political arena — he debated running for Illinois's open Senate seat in 2004, which would have pit him against Obama, but decided not to run. 

And he's been a vocal supporter of Trump throughout this election, telling the Tribune, "If you want good things to happen you can vote for him. And if you don't, don't. ... But don't bitch about it after the fact." 

While the convention roster is far from settled, Trump's daughter Ivanka told a Virginia radio station that the roster won't be a "ho-hum lineup of the typical politicians" and will include "our great politicians, but also great American businessmen and women and leaders cross industry and leaders across really all the sectors, from athletes to coaches and everything in between.”

Buzzfeed News first reported the interview with Ivanka Trump.