Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and the NFL

When I first heard that Rush Limbaugh was interested in being a part of a group that was going to put a bid in on buying the St. Louis Rams, I thought that it was a very positive thing. Rush is a big sports fan, especially football, and he would be good energy for an organization that needs some good energy. The Rams are having a season as sad and long as the Chiefs season, and have not been able to regain their footing since "The Greatest Show on Turf" was dismantled. But then came along the controversies, like thunderstorms on a hot summer day. The first storm was two NFL players stating they would not play for him. Then the Race Pimps, Sharpton and Jackson show up. Now, there are a fair number of people saying that Rush is bad for the NFL and should not be allowed to participate in ownership of a team. Now, the National Football League is a privately owned organization, and they do have say as to who they allow to own a team. Rush Limbaugh is a free citizen of the United States and may do anything with his time, effort and money he wants as long as it does not violate the laws of the land. So, all these people calling for any kind of government interference are way out of line. If you hear that, it's nonsense, and don't pay any more attention to the person saying it. Now, there are people with concerns that Rush Limbaugh is prejudiced against Black people. They are using various statements that he has made over the years to prove this. First of all, one of the statements is of dubious origin, the one where Rush supposedly says positive things about slavery. I'm not going to go into all that here, Rush deals with it nicely on his show. Then there is his statement about Donovan McNabb, the Black man who is the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He basically used McNabb, who at that time was not playing well, as a negative example of "Affirmative Action", that McNabb's race was causing people to hold back on critical assessment of his performance. ESPN fired Limbaugh for this statement of truth. Today, Limbaugh played a clip of Mercury Morris, a retired Black football player, stating that Rush was only saying what everyone else was thinking. Most recently, Limbaugh compared football to the fights between the Bloods and the Crips. Now, seriously. Football as a war is an old metaphor--in fact a lot of football lingo is very warlike. He could have just as easily said football was like the US and the Nazis in WWII. Maybe, it wasn't the most sensitive selection of warlike sides to chose. Would have it been better if he included the Latin Kings, or the Aryan Brotherhood?

I think that if Rush Limbaugh passes muster with other owners and the commissioner of the NFL, he should be allowed to participate as an NFL owner. If players don't wish to play for the Rams if he is part of the ownership, it will only hurt them, not Rush. There are quite a few players who I would bet don't really care about the political views of the person who signs their check. Also, many players do have a love for the game, and appreciate any opportunity to play. Rush does opinion for a living. He will say things that annoy people pretty frequently. Does that disqualify him from participating in life? So, I still think Rush Limbaugh as an NFL owner, especially in St. Louis, very close to his boyhood home, is a positive thing.

One more thing: If Rush Limbaugh doesn't like Black people, and has a negative perception of Black people, why would he want to get in to an organization in which the majority of its employees and participants are Black?
Photo credit: www.nfl.com.

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