Rush to Resistance
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Opposition to Rush Limbaugh's bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams is gaining momentum as the sports controversy of the week. First, Commissioner Roger Goodell said Limbaugh's comments would not be tolerated by the NFL. Then, Colts Owner Jim Irsay said he would vote against him.
Recently, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in an email, "I've spoken to the Commissioner 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."
Sports offer an inexhaustible pool of metaphors for life and business. Football, more than any other sport, corrals world history's fiercest, most dangerous instinct - namely, the proclivity to invade and destroy each other - into a game played according to rules.
Football is in itself a communications tool that powerful women and men use to advance corporate and political interests via metaphors couched into visual images. Therefore it is easy to see why Limbaugh would use money and power as a mechanism to purchase the Rams during times of change.
Limbaugh's power is immense, and, in no small measure, predicated on the ability to benefit from the ignorance of others. It is related to the fact that every pivotal moment in history is tied to the spoken word. Martin Luther King Jr., said it best:
"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."
While Limbaugh's move to purchase the Rams provides a perfect platform to advance messages of hate, it is best to look beyond it. Like the rallying cry of abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet in his "Call to Rebellion" speech, the theme to take action and control ones destiny resonates. When faced with controversy, springboard into action and use ignorance and hatred as an opportunity to motivate, inspire and instigate change.
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