Whether he gets the team or not, Rush Limbaugh’s bid to become part-owner of the St. Louis Rams is already the gift that keeps on giving. Several NFL players, the NFL Players Association, and even MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann have had their say on the potential buy-in by the taciturn-challenged talk radio blabber guy, but now at this hour other voices are elbowing each other to be heard.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on Monday not surprisingly came out against the notion of Rush owning an NFL team. But Limbaugh also got a surprising ally in Stephen A. Smith. Key quote from the cheesy-doodled one: Black players who say they wouldn’t play for a Limbaugh-owned team “are lying through their stinking teeth.”
Meanwhile, even Rush himself chimed in on the controversy.
In an appearance on CNN, Smith dismissed comments by Jets LB Bart Scott and Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka that they would boycott a Limbaugh-owned team because of his controversial past comments.
“If he has the money, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and those black ballplayers that are saying that, I’m here on national television telling you they’re lying through their stinking teeth.”
Stephen A. offered more on the subject in his Friday podcast, including: “I’m not oblivious to Rush’s racist remarks. But the fact that he’s said some racially insensitive things doesn’t mean that every word that comes out of his mouth is wrong.”
Not sure how that applies to the question at hand, but once you get Stephen A. monologuing, you never know where it’s going to lead.
Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday requesting a meeting to discuss the “myriad of reasons” why Limbaugh shouldn’t be permitted to bid for the Rams.
And Jackson said in a telephone interview with ESPN that Limbaugh had made his wealth “appealing to the fears of whites” with an unending line of insults against blacks and other minorities.
“The National Football League has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion,” Jackson said. “He should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise — and it is a privilege.”
Limbaugh responded on his radio show on Monday:
“Now, this saddens me as well this disappoints me,” he said. “I know Rev. Sharpton. Sharpton is better than this. He knows better than this. You know, I didn’t judge Al Sharpton’s fitness to be in radio when he wanted to earn an honest living for once, given his well-documented past as the author of the Tawana Brawley hoax. I believe in freedom and I also don’t discriminate.”
One begins to think that Limbaugh made the ownership bid for no other reason than to stir controversy. And it’s working.
And Smith? What a lovely attention-getter leading in to his mysterious new media gig, the details of which he should be announcing any minute now.