After the news of his attempt at NFL ownership — alongside a group of investors who put a bid in for the St. Louis Rams — caused controversy around the NFL, the group decided this week to drop Rush Limbaugh because it jeopardized their chances at purchasing the team.
Over the past couple weeks, Limbaugh made headlines, as players, NFL owners, and African-American activists spoke out against the conservative talk radio host for his past comments against black players.
The group’s head partner made the announcement of his removal in a statement explaining their decision.
“Rush was to be a limited partner — as such, he would have had no say in the direction of the club or in any decisions regarding personnel or operations,” said St. Louis Blues Chairman Dave Checketts, who headed the group, in a statement. “This was a role he enthusiastically embraced. However, it has become clear that his involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions, endangering our bid to keep the team in St. Louis. As such, we have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion.”
Since Limbaugh was dropped, those who spoke out against him expressed their pleasure in him being axed from the purchase attempt — Al Sharpton being one of them.
“It is a moral victory for all Americans, especially the players that have been unfairly castigated by Rush Limbaugh,” Sharpton said in a statement. “This decision will also uphold the unifying standards of major sports.”
In response, Limbaugh jumped on his radio show, where he said high-ranking NFL officials actually approved his involvement in the buy before the news came out.
“I said to him at this meeting, ‘Are you aware of the firestorm?’ ” Limbaugh said on his show. “He said, ‘Believe me, I wouldn’t have approached you if I hadn’t taken care of that, if I had not cleared your involvement with people at the highest levels of the National Football League.’ He gave me a couple of names, pretty high up, led me to believe it was all handled, and he was fully prepared for what was going to happen.”
He later added that the ouster was a power move by the NFL Players Association to get the attention of the NFL owners before they enter negotiations for the new collective bargaining agreement, which is part of the reason Sharpton and Jackson got involved as well.
Limbaugh then concluded that the situation was “Obama’s America on full display.”