The League

David Aldridge
Sports Reporter

David Aldridge

A nationally recognized sports journalist.

Goodell Ends Rush

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Rush Limbaugh will not own any part of the St. Louis Rams.

There is no way - none -- that Roger Goodell would have said anything untoward about the radio personality if he and his group was being seriously considered. Sports commissioners work stealthily on many things, but the subject about which they are most secret is who they'll let into their Rich Man's Clubs. Those that are being considered don't talk, and those that talk aren't being considered. (It's one of many reasons I think this was Ol' Rusty finding yet another way to get himself into the national discussion for yet another day. He plays the political media like a Stradavarius.)

There is also no way that Goodell, the son of a moderate Republican congressman, would ever allow the PR headache that Limbaugh's ownership group would create on a daily basis. It would be economically tone-deaf for the NFL to welcome Limbaugh; his enemies, and there are millions, would seek to punish the league in some way, whether through boycott, demonstration or some combination. Limbaugh's fans, and there are millions, would rise to defend his act (and it is an act; like Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann and others in the political punditry, Limbaugh is a professional provocateur) and would also seek retribution if their man was targeted. Either way, the talk would not be about the game, and the NFL doesn't like it when you don't talk about the game.

Personally, I can't work up the bile that some of my friends have with regard to a potential Limbaugh investment. Of course I don't want him owning the Rams; he has shown himself to be hostile to my worldview and people who look like me, for almost two decades. But you are naive in the extreme if you believe there aren't other NFL owners who agree wholeheartedly with his social views. Lots of them. And almost all of them are in lockstep with him politically; the best quote I ever got was from then-Browns owner Art Modell, who once said of his brethren: "we're 30 (this was before Carolina and Jacksonville joined the league) fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist."

I would also love to see how free agents would react when given the choice of taking Limbaugh's millions or going elsewhere. Would some refuse on principle, as the Jets' Bart Scott said he would last week? Would some accept because Limbaugh's money is as green as anyone else's, or because they agree with what he says? Either way, it would force players to take a stand, and I would applaud the return of athletes having an awareness of issues outside of the tackle box.

So, no, Goodell didn't overreach. Full disclosure: when we were both much younger, Goodell once offered me a job in the league's PR office. Like an idiot, I declined, thinking there was a future in print journalism. I could be the NFL's Vice President of Something by now, with a fat travel allowance and a secretary, taking the summer off. Really, I'm an idiot. Why are you still reading this?

By David Aldridge  |  October 14, 2009; 11:46 AM ET  | Category:  Race , Roger Goodell , St. Louis Rams Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Goodell welcomes an animal killer back into the NFL. He is ok with the thugs in the NFL. Now he wants to protect the sanctity of the NFL. Goodell, that bus left the station years ago. I quit watching the NFL many years ago and Goodell just confirms why I continue to stay away. The NFL is just a show like the WWF, nothing more nothing less.

Posted by: two-eagles | October 14, 2009 1:21 PM

WHY is it always a problem when a conservative does something like wanting to buy a team?

If Rush was a flaming liberal no one would have said a word.

THIS IS A BOYCOTT BECAUSE HE IS A CONSERVATIVE PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

An for the league to be judgemental is a complete joke.

There are so many thugs in the NFL it isnt funny.

All the players that get arrested for everything and they continue to be able to play, Michael Vike for one.

You people are pathetic.

You need to move to Russia and experience how precious freedom really is.

Posted by: xinunus | October 14, 2009 1:49 PM

I so wish that many of the media who are covering this and accuse Rush of being hostile to blacks please site the things he is quoted as saying.

Posted by: wallstreetbulls | October 14, 2009 1:57 PM

Goodell is right. There are probably plenty of unsavory people--some of them bigots, some of them criminals--in the NFL, as there are in many organizations and in many walks of life.

But Rush Limbaugh is different from all of these. His profession is saying things that make people mad, and he does this publicly, in a one-sided way, for hours each day. What he says is always one-sided, and almost always offensive and hurtful to many of the people who would be his employees. Which of the present owners or players has this kind of notoriety or public exposure?

No, no, no. Limbaugh in any public organization is a hugh distraction and a very bad idea.

Posted by: GeorgetheForman | October 14, 2009 2:33 PM

Xinunus , that is an extremely lazy and childish argument. Nobody is out for conservatives; all but one of the NFL owners supported Obama so I think it’s fair to assume most owners are conservative. However, it’s evident that a person like Rush, given his comments and actions, can jeopardize the stability of the St. Louis Rams and the NFL as a whole otherwise this would not be an issue. I doubt the league is being judgmental but evaluating a business opportunity – there is a major difference. Nobody is saying Rush cant but the team rather questioning the approval of the sale. Stop telling people to go to Russia (have you even ever been to Russia) and calling them pathetic because it only exposes your weak and flawed argument.

Posted by: doesntmatter | October 14, 2009 2:34 PM

Goodell is right. There are probably plenty of unsavory people--some of them bigots, some of them criminals--in the NFL, as there are in many organizations and in many walks of life.

But Rush Limbaugh is different from all of these. His profession is saying things that make people mad, and he does this publicly, in a one-sided way, for hours each day. What he says is always one-sided, and almost always offensive and hurtful to many of the people who would be his employees. Which of the present owners or players has this kind of notoriety or public exposure?

No, no, no. Limbaugh in any public organization is a hugh distraction and a very bad idea.

Posted by: GeorgetheForman | October 14, 2009 2:34 PM

I am honestly laughing...turnabout IS fairplay.

To all you ultra-"conservatives": It absolutely SUCKS when you know you're qualified for a certain job or position, but you can't get said job/position because of your beliefs and what you represent, doesn't it???

Cry me a river. I feel no sorrow for Rush Limbaugh at all. He earned his reputation fair and square.

And to all those who talk about thugs in football, there are thugs everywhere....in congress, in the senate, even in the White House last year. Why are those thugs any different from the thugs in the NFL?? Is killing dogs in a pit fight worse than killing thousands of US soldiers in a useless war started over a LIE???

Please, don't try to sell your brand of crap about NFL players to me....my eyes are wide open.

Posted by: massmedia77 | October 14, 2009 2:45 PM

xinunus WROTE: THIS IS A BOYCOTT BECAUSE HE IS A CONSERVATIVE, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
------------------------------
No my dear...THIS IS A BOYCOTT BECAUSE HE IS A RACIST CONSERVATIVE, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | October 14, 2009 2:57 PM

Sorry for the double post. The posts do not show up right away. Also, I see that I misspelled "huge".

Posted by: GeorgetheForman | October 14, 2009 3:23 PM

The comments on this page are exactly why loudmouths like Limbaugh - right, left or center - shouldn't be involved. When I talk about the rush in the NFL, I want it to be about the Packers lack of one - nothing else.

Posted by: CenterLeft | October 14, 2009 3:28 PM

I ain't no body... retirement income almost all spent on consumer stuff, and I just make it a habit not to buy anything from companies that sponsor Rush Limbaugh.

Three hours a day, day in and day out, every week day, the man is spewing hatred, distrust, denigration, lies, accusations against half of all Americans.

By now he's working on second or third generation haters, and our country is as divided as it can get.

It is a sick joke that hate is entertainment.

Its even sicker that someone with his baggage, from dope, to trips to countries that don't protect children from child sexual assault, to a long history of racist commentary, spreading hate is even
considering attaching all his baggage to a NFL team.

Posted by: dutchess2 | October 14, 2009 3:30 PM

WHY is it always a problem when a conservative does something like wanting to buy a team?
If Rush was a flaming liberal no one would have said a word.
THIS IS A BOYCOTT BECAUSE HE IS A CONSERVATIVE PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
An for the league to be judgemental is a complete joke.
There are so many thugs in the NFL it isnt funny.
All the players that get arrested for everything and they continue to be able to play, Michael Vike for one.
You people are pathetic.
You need to move to Russia and experience how precious freedom really is.

Posted by: xinunus | October 14, 2009 1:49 PM
====================================

Hmm a Di Hard RUSH supporter..

Then and explaination is NOT REQUIRED !!

With your Bigotry and Racism..
You will never get it..!!

SIA

Posted by: Issa1 | October 14, 2009 3:34 PM

Yet another "Reporter" who offers no proof whatsoever of Rush's supposed hatred of people.

What are they teaching in journalism schools these days? Pretty sad job here.

Posted by: MyOhMy | October 14, 2009 3:43 PM

Rush Limbaugh is not a "team" player and should not be part of anyones team.. He is an isolationist and I cannot see the RAMS being an economically sound investment for the NFL with Rush as an owner..

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus and he has just kicked ...RUSH out of the stadium

Posted by: sabrina2 | October 14, 2009 3:44 PM

The league is definitely going down a slippery slope. So we now have a litmus test for NFL Ownership. Approx 25% of the entire NFL have at one time or another been convicted of a crime and they are allowed to resume their careers. If Michael Vick (whom I believe has the right to play in the NFL) can be reinstated then certainly Rush can be part a minority owner of the Rams. And the pathetic Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have the nerve to chime in on the subject. Let's not forget Jesse Jackson’s big lie. He said Martin Luther King died in his arms. It was a blatant lie as reported by Rev Abernathy who stated that he witnessed Jackson coming into the room after Rev King was killed and rubbed his blood on his shirt to make it look like he was holding Rev King when he died. And then there is Rev Sharpton. Need any of us forget his role in the Twanna Brawley (spelling?) case? Both have made a dishonest living playing the race card. Would they be allowed to own an NFL Team? Again, NFL is going down a slippery slope. I hope Rush goes after some of the MSM who have blatantly lied about comments that were attributed to Rush. Time to make those people pay for their reckless disregard for the truth. Liberals Suck!!

Posted by: Cobra2 | October 14, 2009 3:57 PM

Ok, why don't one of you smart liberals give me a definition of Racism and then give me examples of where Rush meets that definition. You see folks, the "R" word has been used to stiffle debate by the left for 150 years now. As you see by the above posts, you have nothing intellegent to say. Many of the comments that have been attributed to Rush over the years were flat out lies. But oh no, liberals can't do the research for themselves. They just run with everything they read on moveon.stupid. I tried to cut and paste dozens of racist comments by liberals over the years. Guess what? Posting terms and conditions would now allow it due to the "N" word being used and all the other vulguar words that were in there. Nothing worse then a White Person to demonstrate "White Guilt". Again, what a pathetic lot you guys are. To bad I'll be dead and gone in 2040 as it will be a real treat to see what America looks like when all the real taxpayers are gone. US will be left with 200 million mexicans and African Americans making $7.00 an hour. What a glorious day that will be for Barrak and others who's goald from day one was to try and get back at Whitey. Liberals Suck!!

Posted by: Cobra2 | October 14, 2009 4:05 PM

Yes, he did the right thing. When you refer to my American President as Hitler, you hope that he fails at everthing, and continual baggering of our President, then you expect me to support you with purchasing a team for your success. Oh Hell no!

Posted by: weaverf | October 14, 2009 4:13 PM

St Louis had Leonard Little on the team for many years before and after he got drunk and killed a mother of two small children. He remained on the team after he was subsequently arrested again for drunk driving.

Kind of late for the NFL to get on their high horse.

Posted by: alstl | October 14, 2009 4:56 PM

Flush Limpballs is an habitual drug abuser...enough said!

Posted by: wiatrol | October 14, 2009 5:09 PM

People need to leave Rush alone. Let him buy the Rams.

I just can't wait for him to prove everyone wrong about blacks not playing for him.

I can see it now......Rush leading his black players in a song...."Barak the Magic Negro"

Oh yeah, can you just feel the racial harmony?

Posted by: pedjr336 | October 14, 2009 5:37 PM

A quick scan of the comments reveals that ditto-heads who can write (up to a point) are attacking Wilbon for not citing (no, wallstreetballs, it's not spelled 'site') examples of Rush's racist rants.

This, despite the fact that the writer made it clear exactly why he wasn't. Clear, that is, to people who can actually READ.

For those of you who can't -- and I'm talking to you, ditto-heads -- try listening a little more closely to your idol. He says something racist approximately every 5 minutes. And more often if he's actually talking about President Obama, the NFL, NBA, or any subject that involves people of color.

Posted by: leftcoastblue | October 14, 2009 6:24 PM

Mr. Limbaugh is likely better off not being involved in owning an NFL team. There is far too much racism quietly revolving around the NFL. Being a participant in the NFL exposes you to being part of this circle of racism. Over time it is likely that NFL teams are going to become less and less profitable as the game becomes more and more a has-been sport surrounded by constant charges and counter charges related to racism. Also, economic conditions for years to come are likely not going to favor St. Louis anyway as people outside of the Washington area continue to vote to send their money to Washington.

Posted by: raym39 | October 14, 2009 7:41 PM

Mr. Limbaugh is likely better off not being involved in owning an NFL team. There is far too much racism quietly revolving around the NFL. Being a participant in the NFL exposes you to being part of this circle of racism. Over time it is likely that NFL teams are going to become less and less profitable as the game becomes more and more a has-been sport surrounded by constant charges and counter charges related to racism. Also, economic conditions for years to come are likely not going to favor St. Louis anyway as people outside of the Washington area continue to vote to send their money to Washington.

Posted by: raym39 | October 14, 2009 7:41 PM

LOL...yeah, Mr. Limbaugh doesn't want to be associated with racists. And NFL football is only expanding to Europe and Asia, so Mr. Limbaugh would only be buying a growth asset and making a fortune, and Mr. Limbaugh doesn't want that. Mr. Limbaugh wants to invest in drugs and divorces instead.

Posted by: dfc102 | October 14, 2009 7:46 PM

I truly despise Rush Limbaugh, so go ahead and let him buy an NFL football team. It is apparent that until the Kulturkampf is won, one way or another, we are a divided nation.

Sports are now the true opiate of the masses. Is is not true that most Americans know far more about their favorite teams than, for example, who the Pashtun may be and why they fight our domination of their homeland? Or where it is? Hey, why should they care about that? Just for the sake of one more Asian quagmire? Who cares?

We're number one, we're number one!

Posted by: tarquinis1 | October 14, 2009 7:53 PM

David Aldridge, I expected better of you. Your ignorance is shameful for a journalist even a sports journalist!

Posted by: nbafan | October 14, 2009 9:30 PM

I am amazed. I have always thought of the NFL as representing men. MEN. You know, those guys who have gonads. Strong, rugged individuals who come from pioneer stock. American men. Silly me. When did the NFL become neutered by the likes of racists such as Sharpton, Jackson, Sheila Jackson Leigh...those racists. Rush Limbaugh has more knowledge about football in his pinkie than Roger Goodell has in his entire body. Rush is not a racist. He is first class act and I cannot believe that the NFL has become a bunch of wusses. I will never watch a Ram game....ever.

Posted by: LReyno366 | October 14, 2009 10:05 PM


The unsaid thing in all these articles is that Rush would never have survived the extremely detailed background checks the NFL requires of potential owners.

Never mind his on-air lunacy: Rush is too "dirty" for the NFL - from his illegal Cuban cigars, his drug scams and his "escorts"

He's a real barrel scraper; and he seems to be proud of it.

Bersides, no one in their right mind believes Rush would have been a 'silent" owner.

He's an addictive personality; he can't help himself.

Posted by: Anadromous2 | October 15, 2009 12:19 AM

first of all, xinunus, the "animal killer," mike vick, paid his due to society--two years in prison and he lost hundreds of millions of dollars. he admitted his guilt and asked for forgiveness. when flush limpballs does the same--repenting for his hate-filled rants against african americans, latinos, gays, women, liberals, muslims, and everyone who doesn't agree with his hate-filled views, then maybe he'll be greeted like something other than a pus-bag.

nah--the guy is a douchenozzle and so is anyone who listens to the priiick.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | October 15, 2009 1:09 AM

hey WALLSTREETBULLS, you want citations of flush limpballs racist gar.bage? try this: http://mediamatters.org/research/200910130049

it took me all of two seconds to find it on the internets. ever heard of them there intertubes? you can get all sorts of information on them, including what a racist douchebag is limbaugh.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | October 15, 2009 1:12 AM

LREYNO, you sound all bwoken up about pooh pooh wittle limpballs. i've got a tissue for your little snotbubbles, 'kay big guy? and i'm soooooooo sure that the rams are going to cwy themselves to sleep because wittle lreyno isn't ever never ever never going to watch them again.

you dittoheads are pathetic.

Posted by: memorybabe1 | October 15, 2009 1:22 AM

Instead of morons just repeating morons why doesn't someone give an exact quote, time and date, of a racist comment that Limbaugh made. The comment about Michael Vick was about the media's coverage and expectations of him, actually defending him and trying to take some pressure off of him from the ignorant media.

Posted by: nbafan | October 15, 2009 10:57 AM

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