[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/25/art.getty.rush.limbaugh.jpg caption="Limbaugh told an interviewer the media couldn't 'break' him."]
If conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh ever had much of a chance to be a minority owner in a successful bid to buy the NFL's St. Louis Rams, it is now over, two league sources have confirmed to SI.com.
In a statement released Wednesday evening by St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts - who is heading the group that hopes to buy the Rams - he announced Limbaugh's official exit from the bid. It is believed that Limbaugh's controversial participation would have doomed the group's effort in the eyes of NFL owners. League sources told SI.com that Limbaugh's candidacy in any Rams bid had "zero chance" of being approved by the league's owners. In his statement, Checketts said Limbaugh's participation had become "a complication and a distraction" to the group's efforts.
According to league sources, Limbaugh comes with too much troubling baggage in terms of his outspoken views that often intersect the divisive issues of politics and race in America. In a time when the NFL is hoping to have complete uniformity among its team owners in anticipation of the tough collective bargaining negotiations to come with the players union, there was little interest within the league to associate with an owner who is paid to give his highly charged opinions on the radio for hours each week.
"The league would be on pins and needles for three hours a day, five days a week," one league source said. "The NFL isn't interested in having its own Mark Cuban situation, where [the Dallas Mavericks owner] is fined for something he said, but then pays the fine, moves on and doesn't care what he says the next time either. The league wants the focus to always be on the game, not the opinions of any particular owner."
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