Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rush Limbaugh wants to become an NFL owner, is this a good idea?

Rush Limbaugh wants to become the owner of the lowly St. Louis Rams. Yes, you read that correctly.

Are you kidding me?

How can the NFL allow someone like Limbaugh to own a team when he’s against all the great concepts that American sports stand for? Sports are about inclusion, harmony, teamwork, and rallying around a common goal.

Should someone who is divisive be allowed to become an NFL owner?

Limbaugh is a flaming conservative racist who doesn’t have high regard for African Americans in society or sport. It would be a serious conflict of interest for the NFL to allow a devout racist to become owner of a franchise where approximately 75 percent of the leagues players are African American.

If I were a player I wouldn’t play for St. Louis Rams if Limbaugh was an owner. If I became a free-agent and they offered me the moon I wouldn’t play for the St. Louis Rams. In short, there wouldn’t be any set of circumstances where I’d associate with a franchise with a flaming conservative racist as my boss.

Limbaugh has made racial comments about President Obama, African Americans in general, and athletes. Remember in 2003 Limbaugh stated the following regarding Donovan McNabb on ESPN Countdown? "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,'' Limbaugh said. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Remarkably analysts Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson for whatever reason didn’t catch the racist comments nor responded to them. At the time even Donovan McNabb stated someone should’ve at least weighed on Limbaugh’s comments. "I'm not pinpointing anyone," McNabb said. "I'm a Michael Irvin fan, Steve Young fan and Tom Jackson. But somebody should have said something to the race issue."

McNabb is correct. Irvin and Jackson should’ve been sensitive to what was said. But more importantly ESPN shouldn’t have hired Limbaugh to begin with. What does Limbaugh know about football? Has he ever played? Ever coached? No. But ESPN decided to get into bed with a racist to tap into Limbaugh’s huge radio following. Then after the voices grew louder Limbaugh was allowed to peacefully resign.

If Limbaugh is allowed in the NFL it would send a bad message. Having Limbaugh in the NFL is would be like having the slave-master overseeing his property from his luxury suite. It would be reminiscent of slave masters watching African slaves labor for their masters in the fields on southern plantations centuries ago.

Yes, I believe in capitalism. I believe in freedom of speech in all its forms. But I don’t condone racism, blatant or otherwise. Having Limbaugh involved in ownership will send the wrong message to a country that on some level, is attempting to move towards inclusion.

African Americans have more opportunities in the NFL than ever before as players and head coaches. But African Americans have never become predominate owners in the NFL. There have been attempts by African Americans to acquire a team. Back in the day even the late great Walter Payton assembled a group to buy a team but was turned away. There have been African American groups since who’ve tried to acquire NFL teams have been snubbed. Whether it was a lack of capital or being outbid I don’t know. Bottom line: it hasn’t happened. Personally I think it’s a matter of opportunity rather than lack of capital or being outbid.

It would be a travesty to turn away African American or other so-called minority groups and allow a racist to become an NFL owner. This would be a perfect opportunity for the players to make a stand. Put their collective dollars where their mouths are. Together they can make enough noise to where it would hurt the NFL’s pocketbook which will make Limbaugh retreat to his radio show.

Also, African American players and those whites who are against racism should never play for or against a team that’s subscribes to racist ideology. Sports are about inclusion, teamwork, rallying around a common goal and togetherness. How can the NFL seriously consider allowing a man who is against the latter concepts to own a team?

Current ownership would ultimately have to allow Limbaugh into their circle. It will be interesting to see how that vote goes down. If it comes to that I hope the NFL and current owners do the right thing instead of what’s profitable for once.

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