It’s no secret that Trump is having a difficult time filling speaking slots at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which is only a couple of weeks away. With few high-profile Republican politicians expressing interest, Trump has turned to his own family and put out feelers to the world of professional sports. Less than a month ago Trump told a crowd in Virginia that he was “thinking about” getting NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger to speak at the convention.
These were always pretty funny choices—Brady and Roethlisberger are probably the two most hated players in the NFL outside of New England and Pittsburgh, respectively—but Trump has never seemed particularly aware of the dynamics of fandom. Trump’s fixation on Brady, in particular, is almost adorable—he brags about being his friend everywhere, especially in areas where Brady is singularly unpopular. Brady has been a bit more coy about their friendship: Though he had a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker last season, he bristled when pushed to answer questions about his support for Trump’s racist policies.
Roethlisberger quickly distanced himself from Trump, but Brady stayed quiet. But today, ESPN’s Adam Schefter—who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “politics”—reported that Brady won’t speak at the convention either. Trump is surely disappointed, but somewhere in Indiana Bobby Knight is waiting with open arms.