University asked Tim Tebow to appear in video to counter Richard Spencer event
The University of Florida reportedly sought to have former star quarterback Tim Tebow record a video message in response to a speech by a prominent white nationalist on the campus last month.
The university’s attempt to recruit Tebow to counter Richard Spencer’s Oct. 19 speech was revealed in university emails obtained by the Huffington Post.
Looking to provide counterprogramming to an event organized by Spencer, the university’s senior director of student engagement, Nancy Chrystal-Green, reached out to assistant athletic director Jon Rubin about getting in touch with Tebow, who won two national championships and the Heisman Trophy with the Florida Gators.
“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 email to Rubin on Oct. 6, according to HuffPost.
“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 her to reach out to the public relations team at ESPN, where Tebow now works as an analyst, about arranging the video message, HuffPost reported. A spokeswoman for the sports network told the news outlet that ESPN declined on Tebow’s behalf.
Tebow had been in Gainesville, Fla., where the university is located, days earlier for a taping of the ESPN show “SEC Nation.”
Spencer’s event was widely opposed by the city of Gainesville and the university, which only allowed the speech to take place after legal threats. The speech, however, was drowned out by protesters.
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