October 12th, 2009
07:09 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Block Limbaugh from the NFL?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

The Rev. Al Sharpton is taking on Rush Limbaugh. Sharpton wants the NFL to block the conservative talk radio host's potential bid to buy the NFL's St. Louis Rams. Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"Rush Limbaugh [has] been divisive and anti-NFL on several occasions with comments about NFL Players including Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb and his recent statement that the NFL was beginning to look like a fight between the Crips and the Bloods without the weapons, was disturbing," Sharpton wrote in the letter.

Do you agree? Should Limbaugh be stopped from making a bid for the Rams? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight on 360°, we're digging deeper on this controversy. Anderson will talk with Rev. Sharpton and former NFL star "Mercury" Morris.

Here's some background: Limbaugh is teaming up with a partner in an attempt to get a 60 percent stake in the Rams. But his comments about Vick and McNabb could come back to haunt him. For example, back in 2003, Limbaugh resigned as a commentator on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show after this comment:

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well," Limbaugh said. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Limbaugh has been called everything over the years from a racist to God. On NBC's "Today Show" this morning, Limbaugh said his critics are wrong. He says he's not a racist. Limbaugh also told NBC his 2003 comment about McNabb was actually a comment about "Social consciousness in the media" and not critical of the Eagles QB because he is black. "The leaugue (NFL) wants black quaterbacks to do well," Limbaugh told NBC.

You may be wondering: Why would Limbaugh be interested in owning part of the Rams? Perhaps he wants to transform the team into champions. After all, the Rams are 0-5, after losing to the Vikings 28-10 yesterday. Ouch! But more likely it is because Limbaugh wants to support his "home team." He is a Missouri native and a huge sports fan. (I know he now lives in Palm Beach, Florida - but it seems Limbaugh isn't forgetting his roots).

Rams players are trying to distance themselves from the controversy. "I'm paying attention, but I'm not even touching that one," running back Steven Jackson told the Associated Press. "Because if I start touching it I might go somewhere I don't want to go."

But Donovan McNabb is speaking out. He told the AP, "If he's (Limbaugh's) rewarded to buy them (the Rams), congratulations to him. But I won't be in St. Louis any time soon."

Also tonight, animals on attack. Humans have taken a beating recently from pythons, raccoons and even an emu in Florida. An animal expert will join us live to provide some life-saving tips if you find yourself face-to-face with a wild animal.

Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Cookie

    Al Sharpton needs to be blocked from speaking as Rush Limbaugh needs to be blocked from buying. Both men are way in over there heads and trying to control things they don't understand.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  2. Brian

    Let him buy it. Then challenge those players players to stand up for something. Especially the ones who can affect a difference i.e. The McNabbs, Tomlinsons, Ray Lewis', Larry Fitzgerald's of the world etc...

    October 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  3. Andrew , College Park, Georgia

    Let Rush own a team. This will be a good thing. It will be the first time Rush will cheer for a group of African American Males .....
    This is real progress in America. After this maybe he will start saying nice things about our President. Al is okay in my book.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  4. Walter Thompson III

    I left St. Louis almost 10 years ago to live on the "Left Coast" in San Francisco. St. Louis traditionally is not the most enlightened city in the country and having Rush Limbaugh as the Ram's NFL owner might be a poetic fit for the Gateway City!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  5. vick

    thats why i like al sharpton,? he stands by what he believes in, even though others may object. He should also defend other races too, so he wouldnt look partial.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  6. Alan

    I've been a fan of the Rams for 40 years. There's no way that I could support the Rams if Limbaugh becomes an owner. His comments have divided Americans for years. There is no way that he would cease his rants if he became an owner of the Rams and the NFL would be powerless to stop him. This is a disaster waiting to happen. This isn't ESPN where a network could simply say to him "Take a hike". Can you imagine when the NFL decides it had enough of the Rams owner making outrageous comments about those he disagreed with. Limbaugh would have to be forced out and in the meantime, it would be a complete distraction to NFL fans in general and Rams fans in particular. I ask Limbaugh to keep his hands off of my football team!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  7. charles walton

    it is so amaizing that so many people, especially white americans still do not understand that racial comments made like the ones of Rush Limbaugh towards NFL playersare so out of bounds. They really still don't get it. Their dislike for Al Sharpton trumps all that. Such a shame. Such a shame.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  8. Lesley

    Al Sharpton is an opportunist, and I don't care much for him. That being said, Rush Limbaugh should absolutely NOT be allowed to own any NFL team. In the real world you actually have to demonstrate that you have a vested interest in, and care about the company that you are attempting to work with or for. Rush has demonstrated nothing but disdain for these guys, and only cares about himself. NOW, stop talking about Rush Limbaugh! You are giving him a platform for his hatred and bigotry.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  9. Erin

    I agree that Limbaugh has the right to buy a team, but it would be a stupid business decision on the NFL's part. I love the game, and would hate for it to be affiliated with such a retrograde moron.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  10. kbrc81

    I believe Rush does have the right to own a football team. The question is will they play for him. I think Mercury Morris said it well. "This ain't the sixties".

    October 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  11. Filfactor

    I believe the other oweners should get together to block limbaugh from buying the rams, his mouth alone would bring down ratings.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  12. Omar

    The NFL will decide whether or not Rush Limbaugh is good for the league; any decision on his bid will be made by the rest of the owners, and NOT in the court of public opinion. It does not matter if I think Limbaugh and his divisive rantings should be thrown under a bus. If the team owners feel his past conduct and expressed opinions are detrimental to the image and sanctity of the NFL, they will decide accordingly. If not, then I would assume they'll decide in his favor...assuming of course that him and his partner investors are actually the TOP bidder for the Rams. Of course should the NFL go that route, I think that should put the WWE above them in credibility.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  13. kenneth

    I am from St. Louis, Missouri if he get's the team i will do all that i can to keep people away from the game's. We know how Rush Limbaugh feel about ,(balck's). When you tell the world that " I WANT THE PRESIDENT TO FAIL". This tell me all i need to know about him, he should not only not get a team but should movie from St. Louis...Their is no way i would go to anothing game. I will do that i can to see that no black or anyother none r.... right go. One person but you know just do not know what happen when the black's in St. Louis wake up.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  14. wsr

    Mr. Limbaugh should not be blocked from buying the team if he and his partners have the best bid. That being said, it would be interesting to observe which players have enough pride and integrity NOT to play for or against someone who so vehemently represents our 'lesser angels". This could create a situation where our sports figures have an opportunity to show a broader concern than just their personal stats.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  15. tc

    This is a "free" country. Sharpton has the right to object to Limbaugh owning a football team and Limbaugh has the right to own one, if he has the $$. I am not a fan of Limbaugh but he will reep what he sews. Good or bad. If he ownes the team and no "talent" wants to work with him then so be it. Everything comes full circle. Good luck to the both of them.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  16. mel

    if rush wants to buy an nfl team its his right. and about him making comments about vick and other nfl players they brought that on themselves

    October 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  17. betty

    Rush Limbaugh he must be out of his mind!!!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  18. J Dean

    If you really want to know what's in a person, put the squeeze on 'em – while Rush Limbaugh has the right to own a NFL team it doesn't change the fact he would be a liability versus an asset to the NFL – in my opinion he is indeed a racist, no one could spew that much poison unless it is in your heart and if he is doing it to keep ratings up for his radio show it makes it even sadder because either way he's either being driven by mere hatred for a certain group of people or for the love of money....

    October 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  19. Wayne Estwick

    I understand the free speech thing and I agree with that. However, based on the comments that Rush made about the players in the NFL. If i were a player I would have major trust issues abot working for a person like Rush. as a result I would not want to work for someone like that who has to make decisions on my behalf. I was once placed in such an environment and promised to never do it again.
    So in the same manner he has the right to buy this team if he wants to. The players should be viewed in the same light if they decide they didn't want to work for him, traded to his team or drafted to play there

    October 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  20. ray hatter

    I hope he does buy into the NFL just so he can fail,like he wanted the country to fail because we have a black president.Rush Limbaugh just wants to own a black man,those days are over.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  21. Seth

    Caesar get your facts straight. Jackie Robinson was a baseball player. Also it's not that Rush doesn't like black people, it's that he doesn't like liberal black people. He has said nothing but admirable things about Clarence Thomas, J.C. Watts, and Condoleeza Rice. Not liking someone's politics doe snot equat eto not liking them based on race. In additon, wha thappened to the marketplace in this country? If someone has the means to buy a business, he or she should be able and if the employees don't want to work for their new owner, then they can quit.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  22. victor

    i am a long time die hard ram fan since eric dickerson days in LA. i really dont care who buys my team out. as long as they bring them back were they belong LA. NFL IN LA 2013 RAMS? YEAAAAAA

    October 12, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  23. Allan Frenkel

    The NFL was built by individuals such as Lamar Hunt, the Rooney Family, Ralph Wilson, Carrol Rosenbloom etc who brought respect to professional football. Certainly, there were some real mavericks like Al Davis and Bob Isray. However, to say Rush Limbaugh would be an example of the owners over the years, I don't think so.

    We have enough divisiveness in this country without throwing pro football in the pot.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  24. Edgar, Pasadena, California

    I have been a Rams fan my whole life. I went to my first Ram game when they still played at the L.A. Coliseum. When they left for St. Louis in 1997, I stayed a devout fan, traveling to St. Louis on several occassions to see my team in person. Ram football season has always been an important part of my falls and winters.

    If Rush Limbaugh buys the Rams, I will have a new favorite team...anyone who is playing the Rams.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  25. Colleen

    As long as it is still a free country Rush has every right!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  26. Markstine

    Give me a break Caesar...
    Our national deficit has gone up 4 times more than what it was when Bush was in President. Oh, I am sorry...when you dont have any money and you are in debt...Go and spend more money right...your stupid
    Rush has every right to buy a team if he wants.
    If he allegedly offended some players like sharpten claims..then those players can go play for somewhere else...simple...

    October 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  27. C. Cruz

    Whenever someone makes public derogatory statements against a brand then try to become an integral part of that brand there is a conflict of intrest for that company, it's employers and those who are directly affected (i.e. the fans).

    October 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  28. Tim

    I've got a great idea and a possible deal proposal. Let's get Rush to stay out of the NFL in return for Sharpton never appearing on TV again!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  29. Jan

    As a fan of the Rams since 1949, I will never watch another game if Limbaugh buys them. Through good years and bad I have been loyal but no more!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  30. Melissa

    Are you kidding me? Rush wants to own a NFL team who cares? He's got the money and the time, it's his business. Did everyone forget what country we live in? NFL had no problem letting that criminal Michael Vick play again, how long do you think they gave thought to how the other players would feel playing with him? Yeah, right 2 seconds because their eyes filled with dollar signs.

    We live in America last I checked. Go buy whatever you want Rush.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  31. Darlene

    Rush has a right to purchase the Rams and we fans have the right to stay home. I personally would like to see him spend his money and we St Louisan's help him lose it.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  32. giden

    Shapton is a joke HOWEVER, he is correct on this issue. NO WAY Rush should be allowed into the NFL Fraternity. He (Rush) as well as Sharpton for that matter , is a rasicist.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  33. Cheryl

    I enjoy watching NFL football and I live in Indianapolis so I am a Colt's fan. I will NEVER, EVER watch a team play if Rush Limbaugh has anything to do with the ownership of that team.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  34. sandra

    money is power and it can buy u anything Al dont hold your breath on banning this jerk Rush

    October 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  35. ptrkL

    Sharpton is an ultimate in organized racism in America today, for he has mastered the racial distortion and outright lies that negate the true sacrifices and dedication of those that achieved the opportunity of equal access for all. He is a disgrace to all that have climbed out of an abyss to achieve and respect law, liberty and justice, and he is one of the heads of an organized and sinister movement to reapportion America using racial dominance as an American jihad and they are using the NFL as one of their control points.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  36. Angelo

    Mr. Limbaugh might have bitten off more than he can chew. Is it enough that he's clarified or justified himself just once? If he decided to use his cash to own a football team does it mean that he is not, in fact, racist? I think he might have to make bigger changes to stifle the opposition.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  37. DeNice

    Rush is a divider. He should have the option to bid...it is a free world, but his bid should not be accepted.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  38. Sally

    Rush Limbaugh has the right to free speech and bet on NFL
    like everyone else.why not?I wish Al Sharpton takes care of his City.who is he to judge anyone, just go awayYou

    October 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  39. Steven from Taos

    I believe if Rush wants to buy an NFL team he should undergo a very serious inquest into his attitudes and views expressed over the last 20 years by the NFL owners committee, after all wasn't there a team owner in baseball or football(can't remember which) who, when she made racist comments, was severely reprimanded and/or forced out of professional sports?

    October 12, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  40. Michelle R.

    Yes, I guess Rush has the right to buy the team if he wants. I'm sure he will try. As someone else said this is America afterall.

    He probably will set sports back a few decades, with his attitude toward minorities. I'm sure the team just loves the prospect of being "owned" by Rush. He has basically done the same thing with politics too, minus the hood, so go figure.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  41. Salzman Epstein Tarver

    I wouldn't let rush Limbaugh own a herd of goats

    October 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Maddog95826

    Let the loud mouth buy the team. Then he will loose all his money on the lame Rams. Besides if the Rams get competitive and start winning Super Bowls again the Ditto heads will turn against Rush unless they are Ram fans. NFL loyality surpasses loyalty to Limbaugh or anyone for that matter.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Stan

    He has a right to his opinion not to make up his own facts....he lies. SR

    October 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  44. Jerry Johnson

    We have Jerry Jones and Al Davis. If we have Rush I will start watching tennis. Good grief!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  45. Annie Kate

    Rush Limbaugh has the right to free speech even if he abuses it. Therefore, whatever he has said about the team or the NFL, he had a right to say it and it should not be used to block his attempt to gain controlling ownership of the team. Maybe if he buys the team it will give him another outlet to his life and he won't be as involved in political analysis as he is now if you can call what he does not analysis). Let him buy it. Who cares besides Al Sharpton?

    October 12, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  46. Cecil

    Reverend Sharpton should go to Chicago and spend his time helping solve the killings that are happening there.

    October 12, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  47. Caesar

    The Republicans have ruined the United States's image. Now, they want to set the NFL back before the time of Jackie Robinson by allowing Rush to buy an NFL team.

    October 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  48. Larryboy

    Ha HA HAAAAA HHHHAAAAAAA! This is way too funny! Only crazy Al would go to this length. Has anyone ever tried to block old Al from owning a microphone or pen? Perhaps Al has plans to do some mind melding thing with all the current sports franchise owners, to ensure they all have pure thoughts? And to think I voted for Al in a presidential primary once. Why? Because he’s always very entertaining….

    October 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  49. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Sharpton needs to just go away. He sees racism behind every tree.

    October 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Who cares what Limbaugh does? He is a nut and the more the media talks about him the crazier stuff he says. As to him owning a NFL team...that's his prerogative. This is a free country to say what you want and to do as you please. Sharpton needs to get a clue and move on to something that really helps people. I don't think these multi-millionaires need his help! Why doesn't he latch on to the Chicago killings if he wants to REALLY help someone and make a difference. He is ridiculous sometimes and this is one of those times.


    October 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
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