The Slatest

Nation’s Dreams Crushed as Mike Tyson and Mike Ditka Deny That They Are Appearing at GOP Convention

Trump, Tyson, Ditka.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Mike Stobe/Getty Images, Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images, and Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Bloomberg News, citing “people familiar with the planning,” reported Tuesday that officials were “lining up” macho sports figures Mike Tyson and Mike Ditka to appear at the Republican National Convention in July. (It’s been previously reported that Donald Trump intends to make the convention an entertainment spectacle that will involve more than just the typical schedule of political speeches.)

This seemed like a questionable move given that Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist and listening to Mike Ditka attempting to formulate coherent sentences, even on apolitical subjects like football, is like listening to a cow trying to play the piano. Now, various parties report that pretty much everyone involved is denying all parts of Bloomberg’s report. From the Chicago Tribune:

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While Ditka, 76, has made no secret of his support for presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and Trump has in the past publicly returned the love, the Chicago Bears legend told the Tribune on Wednesday morning, “No one’s ever talked to me about it. I have no idea where it’s coming from.”

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And from Bloomberg itself:

On Wednesday, Jo Mignano, Tyson’s personal publicist, told Bloomberg Politics that the former boxer will not attend the convention. “He’ll be nowhere near Cleveland,” she said.

And from Trump’s Twitter account:

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Does “the media” make “everything” up? Not really. But could people who wanted to embarrass Trump have leaked a rumor that he thought it was a good idea to appear alongside Mike Tyson on national TV? Or could Trump staffers excited about winning over the pro-rape demographic with a Mike Tyson endorsement have jumped the gun? Both of those seem like possibilities. For now, though, the Ditka/Tyson plan seems dead in the water, which means Trump will have to go with his backup plan of announcing that his running mate is the guy who does the terrorist Arab puppet.

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