Monday, October 12, 2009

Should Rush Be Able To Buy The Rams?!?

My fantasy football team just fell to 0-5, and the NBA preseason is well under way. In short, I officially have no use for the NFL anymore, so I missed this brewing story on the potential intersection between America's sport and America's most divisive figure not named Barry Bonds Barack Obama.
According to ESPN, the executive director of the NFL players union has written an email to the association's executive committee, detailing his opposition to any purchase of the St. Louis Rams football team by Rush Limbaugh.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith wrote, "I've spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred."

Limbaugh -- a native of Cape Girardeau, Missouri -- first mentioned his interest in owning the NFL team in spring 2009, and has teamed with St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checketts to submit a bid. ESPN reports that the pair are among six potential bidders.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that "given the poor state of the economy and the Rams' miserable on-field performance," sources estimate the franchise's entire value at $700 million to $750 million. The team is family owned. Its majority owners are siblings Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez.

The New York Daily News caught up with several players who voiced concern that Limbaugh might soon become an NFL owner. New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said "...if it goes through, I can tell you where I am not going to play."
Apparently two camps of owners are aligning: those who abhor Limbaugh and want no part of him, and those who see their potential payout should the team be sold for %750M. To most of these guys, it's not about black and white, but green.

I'm admittedly on the fence (shocker!) about this one. On one hand, I dislike Rush Limbaugh with a passion and find the man absolutely repulsive. I could dig up any number of his ignorant comments over the years, but why not toss this one out there?

On the other hand: this is a capitalist society, and pro sports owners are hardly the most upstanding of citizens. Anyone who remembers former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott referring to her players as "my million dollar N*ggers" knows this to be true. So, Rush would prolly fit right in.

That said, I guess the most interesting aspect of this story is whether or not Rush would have a problem with having black players on his team, given his noted issues with Eagles QB Dovovan McNabb. Some have suggested that black players wouldn't want to play for the Rams if Rush was owner. I call "BS" on that. Most of these dudes probably still have no idea who Rush is, and as long as the checks keep comin' in, I seriously doubt any Negro would be brolic enough to refuse a trade to St. Louis. Sorry, that's just me. Every player ain't Jim Brown or Etan Thomas. Seriously, do you think T.O. or Randy Moss[1] ride around listening to Conservative radio all afternoon? Neither do I.

Question: Do you think the other NFL owners should or would prevent Rush Limbaugh from owning a team? Will black NFL players refuse to play for the Rams if this happens?

Head Of NFL Players Union Writes Email Opposing Rush Limbaugh's Attempt To Buy Rams [HuffPost]

[1] Speaking of which: which of these guys is most likely to combust, go off on their QB and coach, and get dismissed from the team soonest: T.O. or Moss? I say T.O. by Week 10.

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