Limbaugh: Will he buy an NFL team?

Rush Limbaugh's announcement that he is part of a team of investors trying to buy the St. Louis Rams caused a backlash among NFL players, about 70 percent of whom are black.

Rush Limbaugh may have enough dough to buy a team in the National Football League, said Bryan Burwell in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but can the NFL afford him? That’s the question many of the league’s players are asking, now that the “polarizing” talk-radio host has told listeners that he’s part of a team of investors that’s trying to buy the St. Louis Rams. The news caused an immediate backlash “inside the locker rooms of the NFL,” where about 70 percent of players are black. Limbaugh, the players say, has a history of racist comments, including his 2007 “joke” that “the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons.” He had to resign his part-time ESPN commentator’s job in 2003 for saying that the Philadelphia Eagles’ Donovan McNabb was overrated because the liberal media was “very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” Several players have joined NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith in calling for the league to reject Limbaugh’s offer to buy the Rams. “He’s a jerk,” said the New York Jets’ Bart Scott. “He could offer me whatever I wanted. I wouldn’t play for him.”

What self-respecting player would? said Mike Freeman in Limbaugh is “a pungent bowl of stark raving bigoted lunacy.” He once said, “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.” There was also his charming remark that “all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson.” Unless the NFL wants a player rebellion on its hands, it has to veto Limbaugh’s bid to own the Rams. “It would instantly undermine everything the NFL has worked decades to accomplish.”

“Bushwah,” said Kevin Horrigan in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Whatever Limbaugh’s racial views are, the man isn’t stupid.” He knows that “without black players, the NFL would be three-on-three football.” Personally, said Geoffrey Norman in National Review Online, I think Limbaugh would be just the thing for the Rams. They’re cursed with the NFL’s longest current losing streak, but Limbaugh is “a passionate fan” who’d hire the right people to turn things around. As a natural showman, he’d know how to generate “buzz and controversy,” and the team’s games would instantly become a topic of interest from coast to coast. Every time the Rams lost, “there would be hot servings of schadenfreude for Rush-haters everywhere.”

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