Earlier this month, news broke that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was working alongside a team of investors to put a bid on NFL team, the St. Louis Rams.
Since the news came out, several African-American activists such as the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, as well as NFL players spoke out against Limbaugh’s attempt at NFL ownership.
Why? Well, the talk radio host has said not-so-nice things in the past. One comment, in-particular, came during his stint as an ESPN analyst in 2003, where he said that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb received favorable treatment from the media simply because they wanted an African-American quarterback to succeed.
He even once said that “the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons.”
These types of comments has caused controversy over his bid for ownership.
“The National Football League has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion,” Jesse Jackson told the Associated Press. “He should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise — and it is a privilege.”
Other players also stated that if Limbaugh ends up owning the Rams, they’ll never even consider playing for the team.
“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,'” New York Giants defensive end, Mathias Kiwanuka, told 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.”
“If he’s rewarded to buy them, congratulations to him. But I won’t be in St. Louis any time soon,” McNabb told the AP.
Sharpton wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently, calling Limbaugh “anti-NFL,” while giving examples of some of his past comments. Goodell responded publicy to Limbaugh’s bid this week, saying that Limbaugh’s commentary is not one that would be welcome in the NFL.
“I’ve said many times before, we’re all held to a high standard here,” Goodell told the New York Times. “I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL — absolutely not. The comments Rush made specifically about Donovan, I disagree with very strongly. It’s a polarizing comment that we don’t think reflect accurately on the NFL or our players. I obviously do not believe those comments are positive, and they are divisive. That’s a negative thing for us, obviously.”
Still, Limbaugh and his group of investors have not won the bid to purchase the Rams, and it’s currently unknown how this controversy will effect their chances.