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Fran Tarkenton is speaking at the Republican National Convention tonight

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Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton has never been one to keep opinions to himself.

The outspoken Vikings Hall of Famer will have a chance to talk on a national stage tonight – he is slated to open Thursday's line of speakers at the Republican National Convention.

Tarkentonis slated to take the main stage around 7:15 p.m.

"I have never been very political or a very active Republican, but as you know, my passion is for small business," Tarkenton said in a statement. "I love to support, encourage and advocate for small businesses and entrepreneurs across America. They – I should say we – are the lifeblood that drives and grows our American economy. And our voices need to be heard."

Pro Football Talk reports Republicans turned to Tarkenton after they tried and failed to get Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady or Tim Tebow to speak on Donald Trump's behalf.

According to the Star Tribune, Tarkenton plans to talk about leadership and the importance of helping small business owners.

Here is a short Facebook video where the former Vikings signal caller previews his speech tonight.

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