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  • NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/07/2009

    Rush Limbaugh wants to own the St. Louis Rams. Well, good for him. His money is green and plentiful and his politics are conservative, which means he'll pretty much fit right in with the rest of the gang within the NFL ownership's corridors of power.

    They probably don't care about his politics. In fact, if you checked most of their campaign contributions, you'd find that most of them probably are staunch supporters of the guy who has been called "the unofficial voice of the Republican Party." With a wink and a smile, they will surely welcome him to their club, because ultimately all they care about is whether or not his check will bounce, and we all know that's highly unlikely.

    They will all look the other way when it comes to Limbaugh forgetting his polarizing racial politics, conveniently ignoring (perhaps even quietly agreeing with) all the mean-spirited divisive bile that comes along with his ample financial clout just like many of you surely will, too. They will look the other way because of his wealth and influence. You will look the other way because to some of you, he is your politically incorrect hero, and the rest might be willing to ignore all of that just as long as he can put enough money on the table to help keep your football team in St. Louis.

    I don't have that luxury.

    Though I think it is his right to take a shot at becoming part of a new Rams ownership group, Limbaugh's American Dream is a potential nightmare waiting to happen for the Rams, the city and the National Football League.

    "Look, let me put it to you this way: The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it."

    Those are Limbaugh's words. So are these:

    "I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back. I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."

    I know how those words play out in Idiot America. They are embraced as gospel. But inside the locker rooms of the NFL, where the overwhelming majority of the players are descendants of slaves, Limbaugh's ignorant ramblings resonate with entirely different emotions.

    His money might be green, but his words are colored with hate and intolerance. Bringing Limbaugh back into the NFL family will ultimately be met with the same disastrous effects from the last time it was tried.

    Remember the failed experiment with the ESPN NFL pregame show?

    Remember the seething anger and pained expression on the face of ESPN analyst Tom Jackson when he tried to express his feelings about what Limbaugh had said in the aftermath of the notorious Donovan McNabb disaster?

    Remember the uncomfortable backtracking that had to be done when Limbaugh spouted off on his predictable anti-affirmative action screed and took McNabb down into the cesspool with him?

    That's why I keep scratching my head and wondering why so many people foolishly believe that at some point Limbaugh's mouth won't cause another embarrassing situation for the Rams and the league. This isn't about conservative politics. If that's all you could say about him, it certainly doesn't disqualify him to be a potential NFL owner. In fact, that makes him highly qualified to join the club. He would fit right in with the rest of the exclusive boys club of ultra-wealthy, ultra-conservative white men who rule the ownership suites of most professional sports leagues.

    But even if he fit in with his politics, let's hope he doesn't fit in with his polarizing, racist demagoguery. And yes, that is exactly what it is, no matter how many of his blindly loyal supporters want to put the "politically incorrect" party dress on it.

    "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."

    Again, those are his words. I wonder how Roger Goodell, the no-nonsense NFL commissioner whose primary personal directive is to "protect the (NFL) shield," will cope with an owner as potentially combustible as Limbaugh. If Goodell has issues with the embarrassing antics of some of his players, what will he do when Limbaugh inevitably crosses the line of good conduct?

    Did you notice that I didn't say "if"?

    I didn't say "if" because anyone who is even marginally familiar with Limbaugh's act knows it's only a matter of time before he says something that is at the very least embarrassing but will most likely top out at downright hateful.

    So Rush Limbaugh wants to own the Rams. Well good for him. That's his right as an American. But I just wonder if the NFL has learned its lesson from the last little dance with him. Dancing with Limbaugh is like dancing with a snake. Eventually, the snake will bite you. That's his nature.

    You just might want to consider this while everyone is conveniently forgetting (or perhaps even quietly agreeing with) all the polarizing racial politics that comes along with Limbaugh:

    In this modern age of the NFL, where free agents have the right to pick where they play, how many will turn their nose up at the Rams once they get a whiff of Limbaugh's "Bloods vs. Crips" sensibilities?

  • #2
    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

    As a moderator I will say that please don't comment on his political views. This is a football forum, not a forum that talks politics. This is just one man's version of Limbaugh. Don't take it as the be all / end all version of Limbaugh.

    I am taking this type of stance when it comes to Limbaugh and the Rams: he hasn't been granted the chance to buy it yet so to me he's a non-issue for now. Him and Checketts may not be the ownership grouped picked to buy the Rams. It may be another group, there is more than one group that submitted a bid to buy the Rams. I'm just trying to say that until Limbaugh is given the pink slip to the Rams......all this is a non-issue to me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

      But just think of all the Mega Ditto Rams hats in the stands !!!

      Maineram -

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

        So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

        Right.

        And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?

        That's not how the system works. I'm certain the NFL has a list of criteria it is looking for in deciding whether to back a potential ownership group.

        I'm equally certain that "political proclivities" is not on the list.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

          For the life of me I can't remember where I heard this, but I believe I heard that Limbaugh is not the "biggest" money in their proposal. It makes me curious as to who the "silent partners" are in this offer.

          Of course, for that matter, I'm very curious to see who are the wallets in the other 5 proposals.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

            Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
            So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

            Right.

            And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?
            Im pretty sure racism is controversial no matter who you ask.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

              Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
              So the NFL should prohibit anyone with controversial views from investing in a team?

              Right.

              And who gets to decide where that line should be drawn? You, Burwell?

              That's not how the system works. I'm certain the NFL has a list of criteria it is looking for in deciding whether to back a potential ownership group.

              I'm equally certain that "political proclivities" is not on the list.
              Considering how image-conscious this league has gotten over the last few years, I'm pretty sure "political proclivities" is on the list of automatic disqualifiers. At least if said proclivities consist of incendiary, race-baiting rhetoric.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

                What's that? You don't know?

                Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

                Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                  I'm just hoping one of the other groups takes the lead and actually buys the team so we can move on and put all this behind us.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                    Well said and pretty identical to my own opinion. I'm not going to add to it, tempting as it may be, since that would quickly end up in a political debate - which are wisely banned around these parts.

                    I will add one thing though, those here that have been claiming he's not a rascist should go back and read some of those quotes one more time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                      Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
                      So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

                      What's that? You don't know?

                      Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

                      Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?
                      Not really. It would be 'innocent until proven guilty' - something I would assume a lawyer would be familiar with.

                      If you have evidence of NFL owners who are rascist by all means bring it forth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                        Originally posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
                        Not really. It would be 'innocent until proven guilty' - something I would assume a lawyer would be familiar with.

                        If you have evidence of NFL owners who are rascist by all means bring it forth.
                        The problem with your argument is that Rush is not a "convicted racist" either.

                        I frankly am not a fan of Rush's, but I don't think he's a racist. To explain why, allow me to make an analogy.

                        Last Sunday, a new episode of Family Guy aired. The plot centered around Lois learning that her mother is Jewish. Through the episode, every Jewish stereotype was portrayed in a (in my opinion, lame) attempt at humor. There was even a scene that was a reenactment of a scene from Shindler's List.

                        Now, if you ask me (as a Jewish person), whether I was offended by this episode, my answer would be "yes."

                        However, if you asked me whether I think that Seth McFarlane (the creater of Family Guy) is anti-Semitic, my answer would be "no."

                        Why?

                        Because there are some people who have a goal of shocking people and then saying "ha ha, you can't stop me. I have First Amendment rights!" In other words, they are looking for a reaction, and will ignore every taboo and cross every line necessary to get what they want.

                        Is that an admirable quality? Absolutely not.

                        But it does not mean that people like that really believe what they are shouting when they scream for attention.

                        I don't know what Rush really thinks and feels, so I'm not going to label him.

                        If he becomes a part owner, my only concerns are that his checks clear, that he keeps his mouth shut about the running of the team, and lets Checketts handle that side of the business.

                        And... as Forrest Gump once said... That's all I have to say about that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                          I don't know whether Limbaugh is truly a racist--as a talking head, his job is to stir up controversy--but whether he is or not, the public perception of him could have a very real impact on the team. All things equal, I suspect there are probably NFL players out there who would prefer not to play for Rush, whether because of his politics or because of their interpretation of his comments on race. There might even be those who would take less money not to play on his team.

                          Conversely, there might be some players out there who would prefer to play for him, but I think it would be an unfortunate kind of unintended consequence if the team was ever perceived to be "Rush's Team". There could be ramifications not only on the team, but on the fan base. I'd worry that the day would come that people would think of the owner first instead of the franchise's long and storied history when they hear the name "Rams". If Checketts is the main man in that arrangement with Limbaugh as merely a minority shareholder, I would hope we could avoid that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                            I read this the other day. It reeks of racism. But Burwell won't be called out for it.

                            This line in particular really gets me: "He would fit right in with the rest of the exclusive boys club of ultra-wealthy, ultra-conservative white men who rule the ownership suites of most professional sports leagues"

                            Right there he basically calls every white owner in the league racist. How is he any worse than Limbaugh?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: NFL should think twice on Rush Limbaugh

                              Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
                              So (taking your hypothesis as true that Rush is a racist), we're all certain that currently there are no NFL owners (part or full) who have racist viewpoints?

                              What's that? You don't know?

                              Well, doesn't that mean that we need to have a Blue Ribbon commission to determine this? Otherwise, how can you single out one person?

                              Why... that would be... dare I say... an act of prejudice, would it not?
                              I never said I thought he was personally racist. All I said was that what he says on his show is race-baiting. Such public comments of intolerance, regardless of whether or not the speaker believes them, are still enough to scare off the NFL.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Sources: Checketts To Drop Limbaugh
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Updated: October 14, 2009, 3:36 PM ET
                                Sources: Checketts to drop Limbaugh
                                By Adam Schefter ESPN Archive


                                Rush Limbaugh is expected to be dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams, according to three NFL sources.

                                Dave Checketts, chairman of the NHL's St. Louis Blues and the point man in the Limbaugh group attempting to buy the Rams, realizes he must remove the controversial conservative radio host from his potential role as a minority member in the group in order to get approval from other NFL owners, the sources said.

                                Three-quarters of the league's 32 owners would have to approve any sale to Limbaugh and his group. Earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay predicted that Limbaugh's potential bid would be met by significant opposition. Several players have also voiced their displeasure with Limbaugh's potential ownership position, and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, who is black, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh's bid.

                                Ultimately, the sources said, Checketts must reconfigure his group and find another investor to make his bid more viable.

                                Exactly when Limbaugh will be dropped is uncertain, though some familiar with the situation said it could be within the next week. It is unclear if the two sides even have spoken.

                                Earlier Wednesday, on his syndicated radio show, Limbaugh was defiant, holding on to hope that he still could be part of the ownership group that buys the Rams.

                                "I'm not even thinking of exiting," Limbaugh said on his program, according to a transcript provided to ESPN. "I'm not even thinking of caving. I am not a caver. None of us are. We have been betrayed by too many who have caved. Pioneers take the arrows. We are pioneers. It's a sad thing but our country over 200 years old now needs pioneers all over again, but we do."

                                Without Limbaugh, Checketts and his group would have to find a financial substitute to replace the sizable investment that Limbaugh intended to make. At the NFL owners meetings this week in Boston, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Limbaugh's potential involvement in the league and said "divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about."

                                Goodell added: "I've said many times before, we're all held to a high standard here. I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL -- absolutely not."

                                In 2003, Limbaugh was forced to resign from ESPN's Sunday Night Football broadcast after saying of Philadelphia's 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."
                                -10-14-2009, 12:40 PM
                              • Varg6
                                With Limbaugh out, Faulk to join bid?
                                by Varg6
                                ST. LOUIS -- Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh lashed out at NFL union leader DeMaurice Smith, activists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and the media a day after being dropped from a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

                                On his syndicated show Thursday, Limbaugh said he was approached by St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts earlier this year about participating in a Rams bid. Checketts assured him his involvement as a minority investor had been vetted by the NFL, he said.

                                "I said to him at this meeting, 'Are you aware of the firestorm?' He said 'We wouldn't have approached you if we hadn't taken care of that,' " said Limbaugh, a conservative favorite who is reviled by many liberals.


                                AP Photo/Photo courtesy of Rush Limbaugh
                                Rush Limbaugh is blaming the players union in part for his being dropped from a potential Rams ownership group.
                                Limbaugh added that Checketts had told him his involvement had been cleared at the "highest levels of the NFL."

                                NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Colts owner Jim Irsay each expressed misgivings this week at a league-wide meeting about Limbaugh's involvement, with Goodell saying Limbaugh had made "polarizing" comments and Irsay vowing to vote against him.

                                On Wednesday, Checketts said Limbaugh had been dropped from the bid.

                                "This reflects where we're moving in an ethical nature," said Dan Lebowitz, executive director of the Center for Sports and Society at Northeastern University.

                                "The league has 78 percent African-American players," Lebowitz said. "Do you bring in someone who has made racist statements to own a team that's largely made up of players the owner has made slurring statements about?"

                                With Limbaugh out, the Checketts group is sifting through new investors. A person familiar with the process said global financier and philanthropist George Soros is not under consideration to be a part of the Checketts group. Former Rams running back Marshall Faulk could be part of it, a source said.

                                Checketts is a ways away from reconfiguring the investment group, as the Rams are a ways from being sold at this point.

                                During a 15-minute counterattack at the start of his show, Limbaugh said he believes he's been made an example by a players' union seeking leverage in talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. What happened to him was an illustration of "Obama's America on full display," the commentator said.

                                Limbaugh's history hurt his participation in the bid. In 2003, he was forced to resign from ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" after saying of the Eagles' 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."

                                According to transcripts...
                                -10-15-2009, 08:25 PM
                              • EvilXenu
                                Did the Limbaugh fiasco prompt Khan's secrecy?
                                by EvilXenu
                                Bernie has commented that Khan has been involved in the bidding process for months, but has done so privately and, in fact, managed to keep his interest in the team from being leaked to the media.

                                Makes me wonder... why all the secrecy?

                                Could it be that Khan, as a Pakistani Muslim, feared the (entirely unfair, as he is a long-time American citizen with no known ties to radicalism) potential backlash from a public that is prone to knee-jerk reactions to Muslims?

                                It would make sense if Khan feared such a reaction. Look what happened with Rush Limbaugh. He was set to be a small minority investor (as opposed to the primary owner that Khan would become), and the public went balistic.

                                Again, fair or not, Khan - had he been viewed as a mere potential candidate along side people like Dave Checketts - could have prompted a similar reaction.

                                By keeping it under wraps until now, it is more difficult for the knee-jerk crowd to do or say much about it. Its nearly a done deal, and the unfounded protest of a vocal, prejudiced, minority won't stop the deal from being completed.

                                If my suspicion is right, its kind of a sad commentary on the world we live in, no?
                                -02-11-2010, 02:38 PM
                              • Varg6
                                Diversity, money are key issues with Khan's Rams bid
                                by Varg6
                                Per stltoday.com

                                By Bernie...

                                Now that Shahid Khan has signed off on a deal to purchase majority ownership of the Rams, it will be fascinating to watch how the NFL receives him.

                                If approved by NFL owners, Khan would become the first minority owner in control of a franchise in league history.

                                Khan, born in Pakistan, came to the U.S. in 1967 at age 16. He became a U.S. citizen, was educated at the University of Illinois, built a hugely successful auto-parts manufacturing company, raised a family and has lived in central Illinois for 40 years.

                                But we're reminded that the NFL is a private club, with only 32 lead owners/members. That point was underlined in a story that appeared in Saturday's Post-Dispatch.


                                This passage caught my attention: "As one observer familiar with the process emphasized, it's more than just a matter of money. Using the analogy of an exclusive tennis club, the observer said, 'Do you like him enough to invite him to join your club? And if so, can he afford to pay the dues?'''

                                I think it's ridiculous that we're even having this discussion. But Khan's application certainly will be a matter of keen interest for those who want to see if the NFL is truly inclusive at the highest level.

                                I believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a man of integrity. I would be absolutely shocked if Khan is treated less than fairly by the NFL or the owners. And if Khan's finances check out, he should be fine. (More on that later.) I would think the NFL would be proud to open the doors to its inner sanctum to Khan an ambitious, self-made man who represents the American dream.

                                After all, Goodell spoke out against popular radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh briefly partnered with Dave Checketts in a bid to buy the Rams.

                                Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also denounced Limbaugh; Irsay happens to be a member of the NFL Finance Committee, which will review Khan.

                                After taking Limbaugh to task for making "divisive" comments, Goodell was challenged by a member of Congress during an appearance on Capitol Hill.

                                Goodell responded, in part, with this: "The NFL is about bringing people together, it's about unity and that we do not we do not move toward divisive actions. And, in fact, our teams, I think, have demonstrated that both on and off the field. Nothing brings a team and a community together better than the NFL."

                                The NFL received a "B" its best grade ever in the 2009 Race and Gender Report Card issued by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). The NFL had five minority general managers and six minority head coaches in 2009. But in its report, TIDES also pointed out that "no person of color has ever held majority ownership of an NFL team." And according to TIDES, no minority...
                                -02-14-2010, 01:18 PM
                              • RamsFanSam
                                Verified per nfl network-no rush
                                by RamsFanSam
                                According to Rich Eisen on Total Access, Checketts announced that Limbaugh is no longer part of the group trying to purchase the Rams.

                                More to follow.
                                -10-14-2009, 04:21 PM
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