The news regarding radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh attempting to become a minority owner of his hometown St. Louis Rams has set off quite the firestorm. Really?
Who knew a controversial, divisive, right-wing talk show host known for his conservative views and his racist comments would be met with opposition when trying to buy an NFL team which just happens to be made up of 2/3 Afro-Americans. What a shocker.
I guess the most surprising news to me regarding his possible acquisition is not that it was quickly opposed by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but that Limbaugh and his massive following are outraged that he wasn’t met with open arms.
“I, myself, couldn’t even consider voting for him,” Irsay said at an
owners meeting. “When there are comments that have been made that are
inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive … our words do damage, and
it’s something that we don’t need.”
Irsay likely isn’t alone on this but was the first one to speak out publicly about his opposition to Limbaugh becoming part of the NFL family. Prospective owners must be approved by 24 of the league’s 32 teams.
Irsay is the first owner who has stated unequivocally he would reject
Limbaugh because he made a habit of “demonizing individuals” but my guess is that many more exist and will surface when the behind-closed-doors vote is taken.
Several NFL players have already stated publicly that they would never play for a team owned by the controversial Limbaugh and who could blame them. Limbaugh has made several derogatory comments regarding blacks during his lengthy stint as a syndicated radio talk show host and those comments didn’t go unnoticed by the league or its players.
Some of the disparaging comments Limbaugh has made include:
(According to transcripts posted on his own website), in 2007 Limbaugh
said: “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and
the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
During his brief stint as an analyst with ESPN in 2003 Limbaugh said (regarding Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donavan 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.”
Limbaugh was forced to resign from his position with ESPN shortly after the comment. One would think the experience would’ve gave him some indication about how his current situation would be viewed by league officials and owners, but Limbaugh threw his name in the hat nonetheless. While making statements such as those don’t necessarily make Limbaugh a racist, they certainly don’t add many new faces from the black community to his fan club.
But seriously folks, did anybody really believe that a guy with his history of controversy and a laundry list of racist comments attributed to him would be met with open arms? The NFL is a cash-cow juggernaut that spends millions of dollars each year to grow its marketability, polish it’s already tarnished image and steer clear of anything remotely close to being considered controversial.
While Limbaugh becoming an actual owner is still just a thought at this point and an actual vote wouldn’t take place for several months, judging by how quickly the commissioner, Irsay and others spoke out against the premise makes it all a moot point because it just ain’t happening. The NFL takes a mob-like approach to people that can say or do things to tarnish it’s well-groomed image, it eliminates them. While there will be no bounty put out on his Limbaugh’s head, the idea of him becoming an owner is already dead in the water and he might as well be swimming with the fishes because in the eyes of those who will ultimately decided his fate, he’s already gone.
Maybe Limbaugh misunderstood the true definition of minority ownership and believed that he had found a legal loophole that would allow him to actually own minorities. Whether that was the case or Limbaugh was trying to become a part of the league he’s loved his entire life is irrelevant because his chances to succeed in this venture are about as good as slavery making a comeback. Sorry Rush, no team for you.