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NFLPA Stands Opposed To Rush Limbaugh's Effort To Buy Rams
Published October 12, 2009
|NFLPA's Smith Has Spoken
To Goodell About Limbaugh
POSSIBLE BACKLASH FROM PLAYERS: In N.Y., Gary Myers noted Limbaugh's "potential presence as the owner of the Rams has created a backlash from black players who claim they would never play for a team owned by him," so "voting him in would be a mistake." If black free agents "refuse to play for the Rams, and if the Rams black players don't want to play for Limbaugh and refuse to re-sign, imagine the product the Rams will put on the field." Limbaugh is "so outspoken it would be inevitable he would say something to embarrass the NFL and upset his players," and the NFL "does not need a lightning rod like Limbaugh owning one" of its 32 teams. While Myers noted it is "hard to see Limbaugh getting the votes" of approval from NFL owners, one team owner said, "I can't imagine some of the characters who have become owners in different sports" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/11). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "We are back to the Jim Brown era of social activism … and I find this a very intriguing notion that there’s a block of athletes out there who are willing to say something political for the first time in 30 years” (“PTI,” ESPN, 10/9). CSN Mid-Atlantic's Al Koken said, "This could have a real serious backlash.” But Washington Post reporter Rick Maese said, "Isn’t that an easy thing to say at this point? At the end of the day, it’s just someone who signs your check” ("Washington Post Live," CSN Mid-Atlantic, 10/9).
DOESN'T MATCH UP: SPORTINGNEWS.com's Chris Littmann wrote, "After reading everything Limbaugh has said and continues to say, you've got to wonder why a man who seems to so openly loathe black people would want to own a business that will largely have those same people as its employees" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 10/9). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon: “I don’t know whether Rush Limbaugh is a straight-up bigot or he simply plays one on TV and radio, but he is universally reviled by black people in this country, and justifiably so based on his public pronouncements” ("PTI," ESPN, 10/9). ESPN.com's Jeff MacGregor wrote a "very big part of what American football sells is accountability," and this is "going to be Mr. Limbaugh's biggest problem." Football "sells personal responsibility and teamwork," but Limbaugh has "made his career and his fortune peddling" blame (ESPN.com, 10/9). USA TODAY's Drew Sharp: "The league cannot be that hamstrung in finding deep-pocketed financiers that it's left with no alternative but embracing someone whose occupational practice is making people feel more comfortable within their own prejudices" (USA TODAY, 10/12).
Scott Says He Would Not Play
For Limbaugh-Owned Team
LEFT GUARD: SI.com's Peter King notes data from Politico.com shows that "no NFL team in the past 20 years has donated more money to the Democratic Party than the Rams." The Rams have given $230,050 to Democrats, or 98% of the franchise's total political donations (SI.com, 10/12).