Rush Limbaugh is expected to be dropped from a group bidding to buy the St. Louis Rams, according to three NFL sources.In the grand scheme of things, I hope this shows that while you're entitled your right to free speech, others are equally entitled to hold that speech against you. It also shows that just because you've got money doesn't mean you can do whatever the hell you want. In the end, the NFL probably decided they wanted the money, but not the problems. And reality is, there are other folks with more money and fewer problems than Rush.
Dave Checketts, chairman of the NHL's St. Louis Blues and the point man in the Limbaugh group attempting to buy the Rams, realizes he must remove the controversial conservative radio host from his potential role as a minority member in the group in order to get approval from other NFL owners, the sources said.
Three-quarters of the league's 32 owners would have to approve any sale to Limbaugh and his group. Earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay predicted that Limbaugh's potential bid would be met by significant opposition. Several players have also voiced their displeasure with Limbaugh's potential ownership position, and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, who is black, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh's bid.
Ultimately, the sources said, Checketts must reconfigure his group and find another investor to make his bid more viable.
Exactly when Limbaugh will be dropped is uncertain, though some familiar with the situation said it could be within the next week. It is unclear if the two sides even have spoken.
Earlier Wednesday, on his syndicated radio show, Limbaugh was defiant, holding on to hope that he still could be part of the ownership group that buys the Rams.
"I'm not even thinking of exiting," Limbaugh said on his program, according to a transcript provided to ESPN. "I'm not even thinking of caving. I am not a caver. None of us are. We have been betrayed by too many who have caved. Pioneers take the arrows. We are pioneers. It's a sad thing but our country over 200 years old now needs pioneers all over again, but we do."
[Editor's Sidenote: A conservative talker this morning was trying to get a boycott of the Rams started because the team spurned Rush as owner. Really. And of course this whole thing gets blamed on Obama. These folks are a trip.]
I guess I also owe an apology to the handful of NFL players (black and white) who came out publicly against the prospect of Limbaugh owning a team. Sure, there were no big names, but there was enough of a groundswell to let the league office know that they'd have some disgruntled employees should this go down. Did I gain a wee bit of respect for NFL players, not named Brandon Marshall? Yes. Yes, I did.
The bottom line is, nobody is "entitled" to own a sports franchise. It's a privilege of very few.
Go. Sit. Down. Rush.
Somewhere in Harlem, Rebb'n Al is finishing off a rib-tip platter and laughing his a$$ off.
Question: What (if anything) does the NFL's stiff arm of Limbaugh say about the impact of his long history of controversial remarks? Any comments? Jibs? Pith?
Sources: Checketts to drop Limbaugh [ESPN]