Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rush and the Rams

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is part of a group putting up a bid to buy the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh has been known to make statements that many African-Americans find offensive. He and his followers contend that many of those statements are taken out of context. But either way, it cannot be denied that he does say things that are, at the least, pot-stirring. Considering that the player demographic in the NFL is approx 70% black, there is quite a bit of controversy about this situation.

The NFL players union has already posed its opposition to Limbaugh being a part owner of the Rams, and the usual suspects including Al Sharpton have also weighed in.

Here's the ESPN story.


Sharpton's urging the NFL refusing approval of the bid.


The NFLPA's opposition to Limbaugh's bid


I posed this same question on the sports forum I help moderate,
The Pennsylvania Sportsboard

What do you folks think? Should Limbaugh be allowed to be a part owner of a pro football franchise in a league where a large percentage of its players have issues with statements he has made?

Personally, my feeling is that he has the money to buy the team, and he has the right to be a part of the ownership group, but this could be a public relations disaster for a league that bends over backwards to maintain its image. In order for this to work, Limbaugh would have to be silenced, and that will never happen. He makes his living with his mouth.

Players may decide not to play for the Rams as long as Limbaugh is an owner. There are 31 other teams that may need their services, but jobs are tight in the NFL. Are there players who will hold their nose (or stuff their ears) and play for Limbaugh knowing that he says things that are offensive to them because chances to play in the NFL are so few and far between, or will they stick to their principles and not suit up for him?

I think that the NFL will kill this bid because they are too protective of their image and Limbaugh is just too polarizing a factor.

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