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. bkrand

    As a Rams season ticket holder and a fan that supports the team through thick and thin, I would give up my tickets immediately, should Limbaugh be allowed to "own" the team. It's embarrassing enough that this biggeted baffoon is from Missouri, but this would offer him the additional platform of a racist in ram clothing.

    October 13, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  2. anthony sanchez

    stick to your radio show leave sport teams and the rest of the world alone.

    October 13, 2009 at 2:14 am |
  3. Woodmann

    I hear you all but I feel that if Rush would buy into the Rams that there would be a boycot because he don't know how to keep his mouth shut! Lets face the truth; in todays sports entertainment the minorities are the ones keeping it alive and well? Hum?

    October 13, 2009 at 2:07 am |
  4. Aaron C

    The freedom which should allow Limbaugh to own an NFL team is the same freedom that entitles the NFL to deny him ownership. Furthermore, it is naive to make bold remarks & not expect them to impact future opportunities.

    October 13, 2009 at 2:03 am |
  5. concerned in canada

    About the "animals on attack" in florida..I completely understand the worries about the exotics (pythons/iguanas) and the "killer racoons"..but perhaps we should be careful as to not start a killing spree..warn people to stay away, but also tell them that they shouldn't start looking for these "nuisance" creatures and torturing them to death..as surely a panic in the state will start that type of behaviour! We should be telling people right out that harming all of the iguanas and snakes that they run into will not help anything, so please please please..LEAVE THEM ALONE, unless of course you are an experienced animal control worker..

    And as for the idiots who are letting their exotics loose..stop getting animals you know nothing about..you are giving all of us responsible reptile-owners a bad name! And think about the life that you are taking in the long run if you aren't responsible >.<

    October 13, 2009 at 1:52 am |
  6. Dyanne Nelson

    AHA, so Rush doesn't like that the public's negative comments may keep him from the NFL team buy-in! BUT, it's OK for HIM to speak negatively, EVERY day about the PRESIDENT of the United States! Now he knows how it feels. Perhaps he is now "getting his"....YAHOO.

    October 13, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  7. maurice

    I do not care for Rev. Al Sharpton or Rush Limbaugh. If we as Americans want to go back to the 1960s when every one hated each other, then I say let Limbaugh have the Rams. We will be turning the clock back on racial progress and do we really want more hatred. We have enough problems with our economy and the wars abroad. Lets avoid this volatile situation!!!

    October 13, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  8. Reemdzz

    Been a long time ram fan and the thought of rush owning them would make me give up on the team.He has every right to say and buy what he wants. With that being said, I have the right to take down any ram memorabilia and move on from the team. I listen to radio program from time to time and he may not be racist, but he cross that line all to often. Besides my rams are doing bad enough.lol

    October 13, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  9. hnic

    If I hate something I think I can find a way to love it... Maybe that is what rush is doing. The proble is where is he going to find the talent if all of the talented employees decide to not work for him? If I was a car salesman and I found out the owner of my dealership talked bad about me, I would quit! And get off of Al's back, just asume he has been subjected to the worst cases or racism in the 50 and 60's that you read about in history books and try and understand where ol' Al is comin' from!

    October 13, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  10. Allen Arkus

    Tell Rush NFL means Not For Limbaugh!

    October 13, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  11. Dave

    It will be interesting to see Limbaugh back peddle once he realizes that one form of getting even with him could include missing a tackle or fumbling the ball at a critical point of a game. Employees keep mental files for unfair treatment and employers always end up being the bigger loser.

    October 13, 2009 at 1:41 am |
  12. Albert

    The argument that this is America so anyone can own an NFL franchise is not a valid one. If I was a mob figure I wouldn't be allowed to buy a team. I know that it's not a perfect scenario, but my point is that owning a team is a privilege, not a right.

    October 13, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  13. andrew shiner

    I can't believe I am about to write this - but Sharpton is exactly right on this issue. This is America and we all have a right to freely associate with those we chose to associate with. The NFL ought not be associating with someone who thinks so little of the players to call them "cryps and bloods". Rush can speak his mind all he wants, but just like for the rest of us, he will have to live with the consequences of his words. -Andrew

    October 13, 2009 at 1:37 am |
  14. MadVince

    Does anyone remember the owner of the Cincy Reds, Marge Shoutt, and what an embrassement she became to baseball? Why would the NFL invite a character, like her, into their "model, glass house?"

    October 13, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  15. Chris

    In this day and time, anyone should have the freedom to have what they please and desire, as long as they have their morals and ethics in order. In a case such as Mr. Limbaugh's, he can have the currency, but his undertones in his words and actions of the current and past put a dagger into what the NFL represents.

    October 13, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  16. Rosebud

    I could care less if Rush buys into a fake sporting event, likened to glorified wrestling events. Let him waste his money, BUT I do hope those players that want to... would boycott him for being the racist he has proven over and over to be.

    October 13, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  17. MiltyG

    This is a free country the last time I heard. Mr Sharpton should be more concerned with more pressing problems – whatever they may be – instead of what Limbaugh is doing financially.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:35 am |
  18. Pamela

    All you Al Sharpton haters: Give the real people of this country a break. Stop the hate. Don't get angry because Al calls it like it is. Always remember: The truth hurts.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:20 am |
  19. Jennifer J.

    No, Rush should not be a owner of any NFL team ever. If i was a player in the NFL, i wouldn't play for him either. He's a racist, and liar. He needs to get a life.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  20. lmjh

    Yes, USA is a free country. Therefore, the NFL players should be able to also voice their opinions and/or concerns. NFL should say NO to Limbaugh. He will bring chaos to the NFL if he becomes even minutely an owner.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  21. Jane

    I can not stand Rush Limbaugh and hope the owners vote against him owning the Rams. Sure am glad I don't live in St. Louis. Go Packers!

    October 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  22. Juan Delgado

    Al needs to focus on real problems, not this imaginary racism. Rush is an entertainer and not a news reporter,you guys give Rush to much credit for his opinions. stop being cry babies about Rush, if he has the $$$ and if the NFL OK's his offer let it be.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  23. Vaughn Hall

    Rush would be great for the RAMS!! He has the biggest radio audience in radio and would bring in thousands of new fans by talking about the team. Rush is not a divider and not a racist and the millions who listen to Rush know that. Poor ole Sharpton just saw an opening to get on TV and is such a funny guy!! Let Rush participate as an owner and watch all Pro Football be the better for his participation as a top broadcaster and now- -an owner. GO Rush!!

    October 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  24. Dollar Bill

    I've been a Rams fan since the days of the Fearsome Foursome, and if Rush is allowed to buy the Rams, I will become an ex-fan. The man is a stone racist and anyone who says he isn't, doesn't deal with reality.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  25. Chris Roberts

    As for me, Rush Limbaugh is a BIG disgrace to humanity. What do you expect from a man that has nothing to offer to our beautiful country. I follow his speeches but yet to learn any vital thing and thats the way the RAMS will die if he becomes the owner.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  26. Jackie

    The NFL is a Joke now! I rember when the players were role modles now they are criminals please tell me a team that has 1 player who hasn't been arrested good luck. Now we watch baseball.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  27. Paul from New Orleans

    Is there anything Limbaugh can't do, whatever he wants he can't get. Like a famous song title goes, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones. The NFL need to stop that human microphone from owning one of their teams. Actually I hope St. Louis has some sense and don't let Rush bid at all; if they do Rush has a limited chance to win. If I lived in St. Louis, I will never vote for Limbaugh. If he want to bid on something, why not be a candidate for 2012.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  28. Patrick

    Rush should be able to pursue whatever he likes, it's a free country, it's his money. He can not be barred just because some disagree with his ideas. That being said, the NFL is a private organization who can accept or turn away his bid
    Maybe the we (the Rams) will finally get back to a winning season with his ownership. Go STL!

    October 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  29. steve camargo

    rush has no business with a football team im a Rams fan since they were in LA rush dosent need to be in charge of a football team he all ready tries to pursuade people with his show and shouldnt be given the chance to determin peoples lives that he clearly dosent like and all ways is trying to belittle

    October 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  30. Dylan

    Rush Limbaugh has every right to try and buy a team. and every player has a right to tell him off. Rush Limbaugh is an egotistical moron who is incapable of being nice. He lies through his teeth and defends it later.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  31. Nathan

    I live in Cape Girardeau, MO and proud to say home of Rush Limbaugh and all I can say is leave the man alone if he wants to buy the St. Louis Rams let him because the rams have been losing and havent been to a superbowl in years and most of all he would keel the team in St. Louis unless if someone else buys the team they might move them bo I also wish Rev Sharpton would apology for he owes Rush that and if Rush is blocked from buying the Rams I see a Huge Lawsuit and Rush will win I guarantee 100%

    October 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  32. STLFAN

    STL does not want Rush

    October 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  33. Shawn

    Really Al? Rush not good enough to own? Has anybody looked at the NFL ? Vick? This country has gone down hill so far.
    You have a guy that killed someone last year while drunk . Is Rush that bad?

    October 12, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  34. SKI

    Allow Rush to own an NFL Football team...hell NO!

    October 12, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  35. Jim St. Pierre

    Wake up Reverand Sharpton! You speak of standards for owners when yet we see a lot of NFL players being arrested day in and day out as well as being on probation or parole? Wake up and get off of your political diatribe.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  36. Jack

    Mr. Limbaugh , can buy the team. The players will walk out, there will be no spectaters and the team will go broke. That way it will force this racist to stop talking through his ash. Afterall, there are thousands of other teams in America to watch. And it is the players who make the money for playing and winning. Believe me all of them don't just play or the money, but because they are passionate about what they do.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  37. Maria

    Rush is getting ready to "reap" some of what he has sowed with his loud divisive mouth. Over 60% of the players in the NFL are African America. I don't blame them for not wanting to have someone with his controversal reputation as a team owner. How dare he think African American players would be closed lipped about him possibly being an owner. They have not forgetten about how he constantly bashes our First African American President. He spews poison into the minds of Americans who don't know how to discern his motives. These people rally behind him because they are too lazy to think independently and form their own opinions. He accused President Obama for being an anti-patriot because he didn't wear a lapel pin of the American flag, during the campaign. Yet he makes stupid statements like he would prefer to support the Taliban over our Commander-In-Chief. What a lunatic and an anti-patriot! Americans need to listen to how he contradicts himself. This guy is trying to destroy the UNITED states of America and is trying to build a DIVIDED states of America.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  38. Clint from Seattle

    Rush claims he's not a racist but he has done nothing for the Black, Hispanic or any other community (even white). Maybe he should do something good for humanity with his money like donate to a charity, not spend on something that he wants out of Greed. The guy is always negative and so his impact on the NFL can't be. Name one thing hes done out of the goodness of his heart. Yuck!!!

    October 12, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  39. Kewl

    How can Limbagh espouse hatred every day on his radio show and be the owner of an NFL team? Limbaugh speaks of racism and intolerance daily. Surely the sale of any team to such a vile person should be prohibited.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  40. Anne Drover

    Rush is and always has been a mean spirited man who will say anything to gain better ratings. He is a fine example of what is wrong in America today. The sad things is there are some who use Rush as their only source of information. Shame on them. If Rush is allowed to purchase the Rams, it's up to the players and individuals involved to make choices as to whether or not to support him.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  41. David

    In our country we constantly elevate celebrities beyond their value to our society by giving them the platforms they crave. NFL? You have no choice. Free speech says you are a platform for those who aspire to achieve it.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  42. section_101

    I'm a Rams season ticket holder. I have had season tickets from the start of the Rams franchise here in St. Louis. I own two PSL's at $1000 each for the privilege of buying season tickets. Each game I drop approximately $200 for the tickets alone not counting parking and anything else. I have renewed every year no matter how bad the team was.

    But if Rush L. is an owner, I will drop my season tickets like they were on fire. I will not provide any income to such a person.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  43. gigi

    Hey Al! Who in America didn't say anything bad about Vick? All of America was attacking him and he deserved every mean thing said about him.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  44. Brian Sunday

    I don't know where the belief came about that Rush is racist. He did say the NFL (National Felons League) is like the Crips and Bloods without the weapons. Name one job that anyone can have in America where you can be a convicted felon (other than Congress) and still be employed in that job. I fault the owners and the players union for not having the balls to write a contract that contains a clause stating if you are tested positive for drugs or convicted of a felony you are out of the NFL. How many chances do we give these players? As for Al Sharpton, what job has he ever held? I hear him harp about slavery and how his people are treated , but has anyone ever seen or heard him go to Africa and help his people overcome the hardships they endure there? Not hardly. No one cares about Al Sharpton.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  45. Jean

    All though I am not a fan of Mr Sharpton I do think people should listen to what he said regarding Rush Limbaugh, he said Rush Limbaugh offended lot of NFL players by saying that the players are like the Bloods and Crips without guns, Al Sharpton didnt say anything about race or him being a racist . personally all though he has the right to his opinions and to buy any thing he wants I hope he gets turned down, but maybe if he does get to buy ownership he will find out that some of the nasty things he has said can come back to bite him, really hard.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  46. donna

    True Rush is entitled to free speech, but to have someone who is against people getting along in the NFL is outrageous....Limbaugh is a national disgrace

    October 12, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  47. Joe

    Rush has, over the years, used his freedom of speech to say a number of unpleasant things about issues and about people. He should know he will be held accountable for his statements. The backlash that he is experiencing from the players in the NFL is part of this accountability. He has alienated many players and others outside of sports and they are letting him know it and the NFL players don't want him to become a part of their world.
    Rush needs to "untie the other half of his brain" and recognize what his "tongue' is doing to him.

    October 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  48. Moses

    I see that nothing much has changed in certain areas of the country. A lot of people still hate Rev. Al. I happen to live in the state where Rush is talking about buying the team. I say, let him have at it! He'll fit right in with a lot of the residents here. St. Louis is still one of the most racially motivated cities there is. Maybe Rush will get his wish and make the Rams 75-80% white.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  49. Rob-Puerto rico

    Rush is a total hater,and a divider of races.Even though,he has the right to free speech,I see nothing positive in his bid to buy an NFL team, instead it would only help to increase,and fuel once again the roots of racial hate,and stir up allot of unnecessary negative feelings among the Black race in America.Racism and politics should not be allowed in sports.It's a public event that should be enjoyed in a respectable and peaceful environment,without the need to turn into a Circus or Gladiator Arena.

    October 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  50. Linda, california

    Rush Limbaugh should have the right to bid on a NFL Team, American is base on Freedom of Speech...And the persuit of happiness! If he does purchased an NFL Team, this is 1 less fan he dont have to worry about.!!!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
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