Concerning Rush Limbaugh’s potential co-ownership of the Rams; I’m reminded of the scene in “The Longest Yard” (the good one, not the Adam Sandler version), in which Paul Crew approaches a group of black inmates in the prison yard. He wants to know if they’ll join his team, and one of them responds, “We no longer perform for the honkies’ amusement.”
Count Giants’ defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka and Jets’ linebacker Bart Scott among those with similar sentiments, at least when it comes to Limbaugh. Key NEW YORK DAILY NEWS quote from Scott on Friday:
“I know I wouldn’t want to play for (Limbaugh). He’s a jerk. He’s an —. What he said (about Donovan 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.”
And so we get to the crux of Rush’s bid to become part-owner of the Rams. What do the players think? Kiwanuka, who actually played for Rams’ head coach Steve Spagnuolo when he was an defensive coordinator for the Giants, told the 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.”
Are Scott’s and Kiwanuka’s comments representative of the majority of black players in the NFL? I have my doubts, but then I don’t know for sure. It’s unprecedented, though, as far as I can recall. What players have ever spoken up and declared that they wouldn’t play for a potential owner? If the Dave Checketts-Limbaugh bid comes up for a vote, will they get Borked?
Limbaugh’s infamous quote on McNabb is what’s chiefly getting him into trouble here, but the truth is that there are plenty of other examples of racist statements on his record. Let’s go to the radio transcripts.
- “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”
- “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
- “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
- “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”
- “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”
Limbaugh is the most popular radio talk host in the country, but you might be surprised as to how few people that actually represents. So you’re excused if you’ve never heard those quotes, or anything like them — most people have better things to do than to wallow in political talk radio, conservative or liberal.
But the fact that players are speaking up and saying that under no circumstances would they play for a team that included Limbaugh in the owner’s suite, well, that’s kind of remarkable.
And you might be surprised by one person who thinks that Limbaugh co-owing the Rams is not a cause for alarm. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who has included Rush as his “Worst Person In The World” more times than can be counted, issues a note of caution.
“There’re now gonna be character tests for sports owners? There’ll only be three of them left. Unless they beat the Vikings Sunday, as of next Thursday it will have been a full year since the Rams won a game. My God, if Limbaugh wants to buy them, far be it from me to tell him he’s flushing his money down a rat hole.”
Indeed, this could be just the punishment that Limbaugh’s critics have always hoped he’d have to endure.
(Rams unveil their new mascot, Mr. Oxy. A liberal dose of fun for the entire family!)