If starting the season 0-4 wasn’t bad enough, things got even worse for the St. Louis Rams. Rush Limbaugh is part of a group considering buying the hapless football team.
The news that Rush, America’s best-paid bigot wants to own the Rams is going over like a big, smelly fart in NFL locker rooms. It hasn’t happened yet, but some Black NFL players are making it clear they want no part of a Limbaugh-owned Rams:
Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka says that he’d never play for a Limbaugh-owned team. Daily News. “But I won’t be in St. Louis anytime soon.”
“All I know is from the last comment I heard, he said in [President] Obama’s America, white kids are getting beat up on the bus while black kids are chanting ‘right on,'” Kiwanuka said, per the New York Daily News. “I mean, I don’t want anything to do with a team that he has any part of. He can do whatever he wants, it is a free country. But if it goes through, I can tell you where I am not going to play.
“I am not going to draw a conclusion from a person off of one comment, but when it is time after time after time and there’s a consistent pattern of disrespect and just a complete misunderstanding of an entire culture that I am a part of, I can’t respect him as a man,” Kiwanuka added.
Earlier this week, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb — the player at the center of the controversy that ended Limbaugh’s on-air role at ESPN after roughly a month — made his own views known.
“If he’s rewarded to buy them, congratulations to him,” McNabb said, per the Daily News. “But I won’t be in St. Louis anytime soon.”
Jets linebacker Bart Scott echoed the sentiment. “I know I wouldn’t want to play for him. He’s a jerk. . . . What he said [about McNabb] was inappropriate and insensitive, totally off-base. He could offer me whatever he wanted, I wouldn’t play for him. . . . I wouldn’t play for Rush Limbaugh. My principles are greater and I can’t be bought.”
I have my doubts. It’s easy to be principled about a situation that hasn’t happened, but there are only 32 teams in the NFL. For a lot of guys that means playing for the Rams or not playing at all. Pro football careers are brief. Would a young kid out of college pass up millions of dollars because they disagreed with how the owner made his fortune?
Many people will stand on principle right up to the point where those principles are tested. That’s when presented with the choice between an abstract principle and a large stack of money, they just might begin to fidget.
While Mr. Limbaugh is a rather conservative fellow, NFL owners aren’t exactly wild-eyed liberals themselves and they don’t like controversy. From what I’ve read, Limbaugh would be part of an ownership group, not the principle owner. He might be able to squeak in, but I have a feeling the NFL would rather Rush enjoy the game as a guest in a luxury box, not the owner of a team.
There’s no sugarcoating Limbaugh’s long record as a racial arsonist.
I’m not interested in trying to prove to anyone’s satisfaction beyond mine own that Rush is a racist. If you want to tell yourself that someone with a history of making racially insulting, insensitive and inflammatory remarks is just “a entertainer” that’s fine by me. Maybe appealing to bigotry and ignorance is the kind of crap that entertains some people.
There is no way in a league that is 70 percent Black, the NFL can allow anyone as openly bigoted as Limbaugh to own a franchise. While there will always be those who don’t care what the man who writes their checks thinks of them as long as they don’t bounce, others will make it clear they want no part of a team owned by an avowed racist.
The NFL is a conservative organization whom according to Dave Zirin, the sports columnist for The Nation, over 20 years, 22 officials of 32 franchises have contributed more money to the Republicans than Democrats. Rush wouldn’t be unwelcomed because he’s a conservative. He’d be unwelcomed because he’s too divisive and controversial for the league.
Let’s say Limbaugh is approved as the new owner of the Rams. One of his first orders of business would probably be to sack the current coach. New ownership probably means a new coach and General Manager. The Rooney Rule compels NFL front offices to seek qualified minority candidates for these positions. What’s an avowed opponent to racial diversity and inclusion like Limbaugh going to do when he’s told he must consider Black candidates?
Who’s he going to interview? Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele?
It would be interesting to see what kind of players a Limbaugh-owned Rams might draft or go after in free agency. It might not be as much of an issue of Black players refusing to play for the Rams as it is Limbaugh wouldn’t want them in the first place.
Rush Limbaugh could well be the NFL’s next George Preston Marshall , the racist who was the last NFL owner to intergrate his team. As much as Commissioner Roger Goodell stresses the importance of character, is a character like Limbaugh and his ass-backwards attitudes on race really the kind of owner the league wants?
How it’s going to work that the guy who publicly proclaimed that he wants the nation’s first Black president to fail then turns around and expects the predominantly Black players of the NFL to come play for his team. That’s a non-starter. Or imagine if Limbaugh gets lucky and the Rams win a Super Bowl within Obama’s time in office. The Rams might be the first team not to get invited to the White House.
The St. Louis Rams can suck just fine without America’s most caustically corrosive commentator contributing to their misery. Rush should be flushed.