PALM BEACH, Florida – As controversy continues over the refusal to stand for the national anthem by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, radio powerhouse Rush Limbaugh issued a stern warning to NFL players, saying they could destroy the league with their political views.
“The American people are not going to sit by idly and watch the stage of the National Football League stolen and used for personal political purposes,” Limbaugh said on his Tuesday broadcast.
“You players in the NFL, you can go ahead and try to continue stealing the stage of the NFL if you want. You can take the example of Kaepernick and you can try to get some news coverage, you can draw attention to yourself, but you run the risk of obliterating the stage on which you perform that earns you your living and gives you the opportunity to succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
“You better be careful in what and how you express your thoughts on this country, the greatest place in the history of mankind. And the residents of this country are among the luckiest in the history of all humanity. The National Football League is on TV. It can easily be turned off. The National Football League is sponsored by beer and cars and soft drinks that can easily be not purchased. Not that hard. Just turn it off.”
Limbaugh noted that opening Sunday of the NFL this year is the 15th anniversary of terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“And if a number of you endeavor to try to steal the stage of the National Football League to call attention to a personal political issue, attention you could not get without stealing the stage of the National Football League, you run the risk of doing grave damage to the league and business in which you play and are paid, a business which depends on massive public love and support and attention and money.”
Limbaugh explained that most people tune into pro football to “escape what they consider to be the stresses and the strains and the humdrum of their lives.”
“They tune in to the National Football League for a little break from the hassles of life. They tune in to the National Football League to forget all of these things that are causing controversy and divisiveness. They want to be entertained; we want to be entertained. We want to watch spectacular athleticism. We want to watch the drama of competition. We want to watch programming that has no script, therefore we have no ending, until it actually ends. And you run the risk of destroying all that if you misplace your priorities.”
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Limbaugh then read an email from a listener who suggested the NFL only has itself to blame for its players being involved in social and political issues:
“It was the NFL that sponsored their own Hispanic week. It’s the NFL that goes all pink in the month of October for breast cancer in order to make themselves look socially aware.
“And, as you well know, Rush, as a sports expert, once you bring social consciousness to the field, where does it stop? Once you open that door and you are the NFL, how do you tell other people not to do it? ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’ the St. Louis Rams, ‘I can’t breathe’ on T-shirts, sitting out the national anthem, how long do you think it’s gonna be, Rush, before college and high school players start sitting out the anthem?
“What better way to become nationally known? Why, you can get the same kind of attention and fame that Colin Kaepernick is getting, and all you’ve gotta do is sit on your butt during the national anthem. You nailed it, superb, Rushbo, but this is just the beginning, and the NFL itself opened the door.”
The most recent Super Bowl also featured a rainbow-infused, pro-homosexual halftime show, with little controversy surrounding it.
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