So, a consortium of bidders for the Saint Louis Rams has apparently dropped conservative Talk Radio jockey Rush Limbaugh, based upon racist statements which he is accredited to have said.
The National Football League’s owners and commissioner were uncharacteristically vocal about the issue:
Limbaugh’s bid ran into opposition from within the image-conscious NFL on Tuesday when Colts owner Jim Irsay said he would vote against the radio personality. Commissioner Roger Goodell said the commentator’s “divisive” comments would not be tolerated from any NFL insider.
The league tries to avoid getting snared in controversial issues outside sports, which has caused Limbaugh trouble in the past. In 2003, he 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.”
Apparently, the “image-conscious NFL is just fine with drugs, DUI, manslaughter, domestic violence and-oh, yeah–dog fighting, but having a conservative viewpoint in politics and being critical of the NFL promoting a player based upon his race is unacceptable.
I don’t listen to Rush. I don’t like his style, I disagree with some of his more vocal talking points and beliefs, and he’s on at an inconvenient time for me, anyway. He’s not my thing; but I don’t think for one second that he’s a racist.
The NFL also has a right to associate with whomever they choose. They are a franchise business and can approve or deny any owner they like, and for any reason they so choose.
We are judged, as individuals, based upon our actions and by the company we keep. I’d sooner associate with Rush Limbaugh than Ray Lewis.