Free Markets, Free People

Sharpton: “No NFL Team For Limbaugh”

I must have missed it – when has Al Sharpton ever been a major player in NFL circles?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.  So why is Al Sharpton calling on the NFL to reject a bid by Rush Limbaugh to buy the St. Louis Rams?  What possible business is it of his?

In a letter sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday, Sharpton wrote that he was “disturbed” to hear about Limbaugh’s interest in the Rams and asked for a meeting with Goodell “to discuss the myriad of reasons as to why [Limbaugh] should not be given an opportunity” to purchase the team.

Sharpton argued that Limbaugh has been “anti-NFL” in his comments about several of the league’s players, specifically naming Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb. Limbaugh sparked controversy several years ago by contending that the media want McNabb to succeed simply because he is black.

In addition, Sharpton wrote that Limbaugh’s “recent statement — that the NFL was beginning to look like a fight between the Crips and the Bloods without the weapons — was disturbing.”

Hmmm … as I recall, the remark Limbaugh made about McNabb was he got more media coverage than he deserved, probably because he was black. Limbaugh believed McNabb is/was an average quarterback not deserving of such coverage. I happen to disagree with his assessment of McNabb, but felt his comment was more about the media and our culture than about race.  And former Miami running back Mercury Morris finds Limbaugh’s remarks about gangs and the NFL to make “some relative sense.”

But back to Sharpton. I love the “anti-NFL comments” line used by Sharpton who is now, apparently, the arbiter of all things which are “pro-NFL” I guess. Sharpton’s smarter than he acts at times though – he’s picked up on the fact that playing the race card is becoming detrimental to those who play it. So he’s shifted a bit and now features himself as the savior of the NFL, substituting “NFL” for “black”. Essentially Sharpton is asking the NFL to discriminate against Limbaugh because Al Sharpton (whose only real connection to the league is most likely watching football on Sunday) finds Limbaugh to be unacceptable to him as an owner in the NFL.

Yeah, that’s a good reason to turn him down. I’m sure the other owners will weigh that heavily in their decision making process – right after “is it a good bid” and “do they have the money”?

Tell you what Al, the best way to make sure Limbaugh doesn’t get the team is make a better offer. In a capitalist system, that’s how it works. And, truth be told, that’s what worries Sharpton, isn’t it?

~McQ

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21 Responses to Sharpton: “No NFL Team For Limbaugh”

  • The NFL takes image and politics into account in terms of who they allow to own a team. If they fear that Limbaugh will hurt their image, they’ll reject him even if he has the best offer. Sharpton wants to make them believe that Limbaugh will hurt the NFL’s image, especially amongst blacks, and thus pressure them to choose someone safer. Agree or disagree, it’s a rational strategy. Whether or not it will work depends less on Limbaugh’s offer than on whether or not other owners want him in their club.

    • You make the NFL sound like an organization built along the lines of a corporation. Wrong. The NFL is built along the lines of a country club. It will bve up to the owners as to who will be acceptable. For someone to buy a franchise, you must first meet the needs of the seller. Once the seller agrees to the sale there is then a vote among the owners as to whether they will accept the offerers as new member-owners of the league. There are rules for how many votes are needed and these are contained within the bylaws of the league. Once you get the required number of votes from the owners, you are in!

      There are no other hoops you need to pass through. Sharton needs to convince the owners to, in effect and pardon the pun, backball Rush from becoming an owner.

      All of this is a moot point. Supposedly Rush and his backers are only one of 10 or so such bidders for the team. In a situation like that, there will probably be a bidding war and who knows who will rise to the top in that case.

    • Yeah, the NFL is sooooooooo worried about image.

      Why the guy who killed someone only got a year suspension.

      And the serial dog murderer is back and playing.

      And all sorts of other felons, criminals and no-goods take the field any given Sunday.

      Al Sharpton has more blood on his hands than Limbaugh. Why anyone takes him seriously is beyond me

    • The University of Maine at Farmington takes image and politics into account in terms of who they allow to teach there. If they fear that Scott Erb will hurt their image, they’ll reject him even if he already has tenure. (Cf. Ward Churchill) If serious students want to make the university believe that Scott Erb will hurt UMF’s image, especially amongst serious students with traditional values and patriotic views of America, and thus pressure them to choose someone safer. Agree or disagree, it’s a rational strategy. Whether or not it will work depends less on Scott Erb’s tenure than on whether or not other faculty and administrators want him in their club.

  • Apparently, the relative radio silence from Rev. Al Sharpton this past year had a purpose.

    He was busy creating a position for himself as the final lord and arbiter of which citizens of the US can own buy or own NFL teams.

    What were his qualifications for this newly-minted position? RACISTS. Or something.

    I know. It all makes perfect sense when you’re dealing with the Rev. Al Sharpton, doesn’t it?

  • The NFL takes image and politics into account in terms of who they allow to own a team.
    But the NFL must have a different standard on image for who they will allow to play on a team such as the case with Michael Vick.

  • I remember Limbaugh’s comments regarding McNabb, and they were just plain dumb. He did state that ‘the NFL wanted a black QB to succeed’, which ignored two facts– McNabb was already a successful QB, and at the time there were at least two other starting QBs who were black (and something like 4 or 5 other black QBs in the league). It sounded more ignorant than it did racist, but was inappropriate and I think Limbaugh realized this and quickly resigned his spot on ESPN’s NFL game day show.

    However, I don’t think that will have any bearing on the attempt to become an owner of an NFL franchise. Barring the discovery of any truly controversial or scandalous skeletons in his closet, money and similar considerations will be the determining factor. Al Sharpton simply saw another opportunity to get his name in the news, and he’s not the sort to pass that up. Actually, that’s what is behind most of the attention given to this non-story.

    Marge Schott owned a professional sports franchise. I’d say the bar is set pretty low.

    • I remember Limbaugh’s comments regarding McNabb, and they were just plain dumb. …

      Agreed.
      McNabb led his team to four NFC championship games and one SuperBowl. An NFL team doesn’t do that on the coattails of their defense or anything else. McNabb was/is an excellent quarterback. He needs no special attention from any kind of media earn accolades.

      If you were to parse Limbaugh’s words, you could (I guess) make a feeble argument that it had nothing to do with race but more an argument about modern media. But that simply ignores the fact that it was Limbaugh himself that brought it up. No one else, at the time, was making the argument that McNabb was a good “black” quarterback.

      Limbaugh’s comments came from Limbaugh. Unsolicited.
      Limbaugh now claims that he is “color blind” and not concerned with race; but clearly, the history shows that he was the one most concerned with McNabb’s race, not others.

      I find Limbaugh’s claims, and those who might defend them, that his comments were about the media and not race, to be clearly aloof and revisionist.

      However, I don’t think that will have any bearing on the attempt to become an owner of an NFL franchise.

      I disagree.
      The NFL knows where its bread is buttered. And the players, the owners, and the media will extend this controversy indefinitely.

      And controversy is generally not good for business.

      The NFL is par excellence when it comes to the business of professional sports, and I don’t see them wanting to make any waves.

      And it is unfortunate, IMHO. I would love to see Limbaugh gain some kind of ownership of the hapless Rams.
      The NFL loves to pit old friends and old rivals against each other. You know, quarterbacks and coaches going against their old acquaintances…

      And it would be a helluva show when they allow McNabb and the Eagles to go down to St. Louis and beat the tar out of the Rams and their new owner.

      You know, … I might be wrong… They just might allow Limbaugh’s bid for it for that very reason.

      Nevermind.

      Cheers.

      • “And controversy is generally not good for business.”

        I’ve got two words for you: Terrell Owens.

        • There are more than one type of controversy.

          There are the types of controversy that only an NFL fan might recognize. The type that only graces the sports page or sports radio. The type that doesn’t really have serious consequences. Your Terrel Owens, your Randy Moss, your Michael Irvin, your Keyshawn Johnson, etc. (funny how they are usually wide receivers)

          Then there are the types of controversy that gain national attention and may carry more serious ramifications. The type of controversy that is made known outside of the sports world and maybe in every circle of our culture. Michael Vick is a prime example.
          Please note that I’m not comparing Limbaugh to Vick, just that I’m noting the different kinds of controversy.
          And it is that type of controversy that is generally bad for business.

          Using Vick as an example, the NFL obviously weighed the pros and cons and decided that allowing Vick, considering his time served and philanthropy, to continue to play would be beneficial.
          They may go that way with Limbaugh, considering his own controversial baggage.

          Cheers.

      • “McNabb led his team to four NFC championship games and one SuperBowl. An NFL team doesn’t do that on the coattails of their defense or anything else.”
        The Ravens won a Super Bowl with the 26th ranked offense and a QB that nobody wanted (they just taught him to stop throwing the game away).
        At the time of Limbaugh’s comments McNabb was a two-time Pro Bowl alternate whose team had just finished the regular season by going 5-1 without him. He had proven to be a very good QB with one excellent season (and two trips the the NFC championship game), but he wasn’t elite.
        Bringing up things Mcnabb did afterward is truly revisionist. He didn’t make the Super Bowl until two years later when he drastically cut the number of rushing attemps and greatly improved his completion percentage.

        As you pointed out, the NFL and its media parteners are businesses that rely on good marketing, and that may keep Limbaugh out. But his real mistake was to reveal an oft-repeated marketing strategy. The ‘next generation’ quarterback that will fundamentally change the game with his ability to run. That campaign’s been making regular appearances at least since Cunningham. Steve Young was desevedly marketed, but somehow never got that ‘next’ kind of tag despite being the only running QB to win the Super Bowl (maybe because he also was an exceptionally accurate passer). With Culpepper and the Vikings tanking after 2000, McNabb was selected to be that guy. Vick was in the league by Oct 2002, but only had five starts under his belt. After McNabb changed (and elevated) his play in 2004, he was deservedly marketed as an elite QB and Vick had the ‘game changer’ tag to himself.

        The ‘change-the-game’ tag works great from a marketing standpoint in two ways.
        1) It’s reuasble because game hasn’t fundamentally changed to the point where the pocket passer isn’t still the best offensive weapon there is. Whether its because there are so few people capable of being that type of running QB, or because defenders get quicker along with the QB’s; teams with a better ‘old-school’ QB win championships.
        2) There are people convinced that ‘next generation QB’ is code for black-style QB. That’s why the head of the Philadelphia NAACP agreed with Limbaugh that McNabb was overrated, then went way futher to complain that McNabb betrayed his race by not running as much. Doug Williams was never a ‘next’ QB, he was a pocket passer.
        As long as the theme can keep going, fans of both classic pocket passers and next-generation running QBs stay interested, independant of whether they identify either style with race. Since QB is the most important postion in the game, eliminating that dynamic (or exposing it as a marketing tool) would risk alienating half the fan base.

        • Bringing up things Mcnabb did afterward is truly revisionist.

          No it’s not.
          If you said someone was overrated, and then that someone goes on to do all of these extraordinary achievements, clearly what you said was stupid.

          At the time of Limbaugh’s comments McNabb was a two-time Pro Bowl alternate whose team had just finished the regular season by going 5-1 without him.

          Oh well then… Only a two-time pro-bowler. Well then obviously McNabb sucks. /sarcasm

          He had also led his team to two NFC East championships (a very tough division in any given year) and two NFC championship games. McNabb was not overrated before Limbaugh’s retarded comments, or after.
          And yes, I remember the Ravens that year, they had a superb defense. And teams can go far on the backs of their defense. But they can’t do it consistently … like the Eagles and McNabb win consistently.

          Cheers.

          • No it’s not.
            If you said someone was overrated, and then that someone goes on to do all of these extraordinary achievements, clearly what you said was stupid.

            That’s rather silly. If you say someone is overrated and at the time he really is overrated, then clearly what you said was true at the time you said it. The fact that someone later improves himself doesn’t erase the fact that at one time he was under performing.

    • I thought that Limbaugh’s comments about McNabb were out of left field, because it showed a surprising ignorance about what it takes to be an NFL player, let alone a quarterback. (Forget about the enormous talent required to even step out on the field in the NFL, and think for a moment about the sheer toughness required. The objective physical toughness that allows a quarterback to get back up again after being slammed to the turf by a 300 lb. defensive lineman.)

      That said, the sports media is in a constant state of building up and tearing down athletes on no greater basis than having something to talk about. Generally, however, they try to avoid racial questions.

      Limbaugh’s comments were off base in that regard, but they were not racist.

      What I find objectionable, in sports and politics and society at large, is the constant accusations of racism and bias. It has become so routine that in order to make it stick on Limbaugh in the current instance people are resorting to made up quotes, i.e., things that he never said.

  • There is zero chance of Limbaugh getting the bid, Too much controversy surrounding him, and race is the least of it. Sports is a part of the entertainment industry, and you can bet that running just under the surface of that industry is the unwritten black ball, the unspoken McCarthyism against conservatism. Especially outspoken and controversial conservatives.

    Keith Olberman on the other hand, would have no problem buying an NFL franchise, if he had the money that is.

  • So why are we still watching/supporting the NFL?
    I’m not. I’ve had no interest in years.

    • I am watching because the Vikings have Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the game now, and Brett Favre, who is able to have a strong line and running game to augment his experience. I have been waiting for a Vikings superbowl victory for a long time. This could be the year.

  • From NRO:

    Here’s the thing: If Rush is an “addict”, then the President of the United States is a “cokehead.”

    Both men have had issues with consuming mind-altering substances in violation of the law in their past; both have overcome those past experiences and gone on to lead productive and successful lives. (Rush, in fact, managed to do so while overcoming a near-miss with a loss of hearing, a torturous development for a man whose entire livelihood is in radio.)

    So I’ll ask our friends on the other side of the aisle to refrain from using the term “addict” in reference to Rush, as I’d hate to see our president casually referred to as a “cokehead” on a regular basis.

    Or had they forgotten President Obama’s descriptions of using “blow” in his younger days.

    http://tinyurl.com/yzfbzav

    • I agree. Anyway, I thought it was acceptable to have used drugs as long as you didn’t inhale.

  • No – what you missed is the hilarious and dripping irony of a black radical leftist anti-Semite, who has made some of the worst Jew-baiting comments in the last two decades (forgetting what he did to Steven Pagones in the Tawana Brawley debacle), lecturing anyone about racism.

    I wonder if Fat Al was so worked up about the image of the NFL when it let dog murderer/torturer Michael Vick back to play, or will allow drunk driver/killer Dante Stallworth back to play? Oh, I forgot – they are black felons. Sharpton is only worried when whites he does not like want to buy teams with their own money.