DAYTONA BEACH, FL: NASCAR CEO Brian France has no plans to speak in support of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump at next month’s GOP National Convention in Cleveland or to even attend the event, the racing organization said Wednesday morning.
Its communications head, David Higdon, rebuffed a Bloomberg News report stating that Trump’s campaign was working to secure France as a speaker, along with sports icons such as former boxing champion Mike Tyson and one-time Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka. The report, citing unnamed organizers, also identified former University of Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight as a possible speaker.
"[France] does not plan to speak at nor attend the convention," Higdon said, via email.
Asked how the report could have come about, Higdon responded, "No idea. Erroneous reporting/sources."
Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that Tyson, who was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992, was not asked to speak at the convention.
Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention though I'm sure he would do a good job if he was. The media makes everything up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2016
France endorsed Trump in late February, as did several NASCAR drivers, and spoke on his behalf at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia. However, he immediately faced blowback due to Trump’s proposals to build a wall on the Mexican border and to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. France, who supported then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012, respectively, said he was surprised by the response, calling it a "routine endorsement."