SBD/Issue 20/Franchises

Some Black NFLers Say They Would Not Play For Rush-Owned Rams

Kiwanuka Doesn't Want Anything To
Do With A Limbaugh-Owned Team
Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka and Jets LB Bart Scott both "made it clear Thursday that they would never play for the Rams" if Rush Limbaugh owns the team, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Limbaugh, who resigned after a brief stint on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" in '03 after making racially-insensitive remarks about Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, has made an offer with Blues Owner Dave Checketts to buy the Rams. Kiwanuka said that he "cringes at the idea of Limbaugh becoming an NFL owner." Kiwanuka: "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." He added, "I am not going to draw a conclusion from a person off of one comment, but when it is time after time after time and there's a consistent pattern of disrespect and just a complete misunderstanding of an entire culture that I am a part of, I can't respect him as a man." McNabb Thursday said, "If he's rewarded to buy them, congratulations to him. But I won't be in St. Louis anytime soon." Scott added, "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" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/9).

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY? In Chicago, Dan Pompei wrote Limbaugh's "opinions should have nothing to do with whether or not he is approved" for NFL ownership. Pompei: "Why should anyone be penalized because they don't agree with the politically correct answers, or they don't fall in line with the mainstream opinions? If you don't like what Limbaugh says, don't listen to him. But don't try to prevent him from taking advantage of a business opportunity." The L.A. Times' Sam Farmer wrote, "You're talking about an egotistical blowhard with mountains of money, somebody who thinks he's the smartest guy in every room and isn't afraid to act like it, who takes a my-way-or-the-highway to every problem, who wouldn't be afraid to charge top dollar regardless of what type of product he puts on the field. ... Should fit in fine" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 10/8). In Houston, Richard Justice wrote it is "important for the NFL to approve Rush Limbaugh." The NFL "needs a hate monger owner," so Limbaugh would fill an "important demographic." He would "make a boring team interesting." He "might go off the range at times when he talks about black quarterbacks or cheerleaders, but that's part of the fun of it" (CHRON.com, 10/8). In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr.: "Maybe, if Limbaugh gets the Rams, Keith Olbermann can interview him at halftime on a Sunday night in the future" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/9).

AN UNLIKELY PAIR: In Utah, Brad Rock notes Limbaugh and Checketts make for a "pretty interesting combination." Checketts is a "noted nice guy who may have enemies, but not in high political circles," while Limbaugh "can push anyone left of Barry Goldwater over the edge." Rock: "You have a proven compromiser in Checketts, combined with the classic divider in Limbaugh. Sounds like a reality show to me" (DESERET NEWS, 10/9).

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