Rush Limbaugh, a conservative radio talk show host known for his racially charged comments, has been removed from a potential group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.
The news comes days after several NFL players, civil rights activists and labor leaders rallied against Limbaugh’s participation in the bid.
The group includes Dave Checketts, chair of hockey’s St. Louis Blues, who announced Oct. 15 to remove Limbaugh from the bid. Limbaugh was to be a limited partner in the deal but Checketts said in a statement that his participation had complicated the effort and the group plans to move forward without him.
“It has become clear that his (Limbaugh’s) involvement in our group has become a complication and a distraction to our intentions,” said Checketts. “We have decided to move forward without him and hope it will eventually lead us to a successful conclusion.”
Several African American NFL players told reporters that they would never play for a team owned by Limbaugh who several years ago said the media wanted Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb to succeed only because he’s Black. At the time McNabb was one of the best in the league in a position that hardly any Blacks held for decades. McNabb said he would never work for Limbaugh.
Over the years Limbaugh has made controversial and offensive comments aimed at African American athletes and other minorities. He said the NBA should be renamed the Thug Basketball Association, after an ugly brawl in 2004. He likened the rough play of football players to that of the Bloods and the Crips, notorious street gangs.
The news by Checketts came one day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressed doubts about Limbaugh’s participation in one of the country’s most notable and popular games. Speaking at a meeting of NFL owners in Boston Goodell said that he would find it inappropriate for an owner of a franchise to make the sort of controversial remarks attributed to Limbaugh in the past.
“I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about,” said Goodell. “I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position within the NFL.”
Indianapolis Colts owner said he would not vote to approve Limbaugh as an owner because of comments he’s made that were “inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive.”
Any sale of an NFL team must be approved by at least three-quarters of the owners.
The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson also came out against Limbaugh’s bid saying his track record on race should exclude him from having anything to do with owning an NFL team.
Both civil rights leaders hailed the news about Limbaugh’s removal.
“It is a moral victory for all Americans – especially the players that have been unfairly castigated by Rush Limbaugh,” Sharpton said in a statement.
“The decision will also uphold the unifying standards of major sports,” he said.
Limbaugh is known for being anti-union and anti-immigrant and continues to pander to the conservative and right wing community with extreme views.
In recent interviews Limbaugh said the “left” in the U.S. and in the media, including the Democratic Party are all out get him and “destroy conservatism” and American values.
“This is about the future of the United States of America and what kind of country we’re going to have,” said Limbaugh.
Critics say Limbaugh is absolutely right and the future of this country, with the election of President Barack Obama, is on course to block hate rhetoric and divisive language affiliated with racist tendencies. The U.S. is on its way to building a future where change, hope and unity are the stepping-stones to a more just society, they add. And Limbaugh’s views and the country’s dark past with racism will continue to take a progressive turn for the better, activists note.