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Is NFL treating Rush Limbaugh’s bid with fairness?
During his brief stint as a commentator on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pre-game show back in 2003, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was forced to resign after making this controversial comment about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team,” Limbaugh said at the time.
In his resignation letter Limbaugh said “my comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret.”
In a league where almost three quarters of its players are African-Americans, including the head of the players’ union, Limbaugh’s attempt to become co-owner of the beleaguered St. Louis Rams, in his home state, has been met with swift opposition.
According to ESPN, DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, has written an email to the association’s executive committee, detailing his opposition to Limbaugh’s bid. “I’ve spoken to the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred.”
Commissioner Roger Goodell has already cast doubt on Limbaugh’s viability as an NFL owner, saying that “divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about.” Goodell said that Rams representatives told owners at a recent meeting that they haven’t fully committed to selling the team, which is being shopped by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
UPDATE: Have decided to turn comments off. Sorry about that but felt the debate was generating more heat than light.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Rush Limbaugh pictured in a file photo. REUTERS/Micah Walte)