Ignorance is bliss, so the saying goes, and right about now there are a lot of blissfully ignorant folks prattling about, thumping their chests – characteristic of their simian ancestry save for the scratching of their underarms. I’m talking about those who are taking credit for undermining Rush Limbaugh’s joining a group interested in purchasing the St. Louis Rams football team.
To hear them tell it, Rush is the devil right out of hell for daring to speak his opinion (in a free society), and often for stating the obvious. Those involved would be laughable in their complaint if they weren’t unambiguously ignorant and totally given over to a set of double standards.
Would Rush be worse for the game than Ricky Williams or Lawrence Phillips? One is a self-described “poster child for marijuana,” the other a thug who serially beat women. Would Rush be worse for the game than the dozens and dozens of players and coaches who have been arrested (many repeatedly) for drugs, steroids, assault, murder, drunk driving and firearms offenses?
Mercury Morris has no room to cast stones at Rush from his glass house, or does he forget his career included a 20-year prison sentence on cocaine charges – his subsequent new trial and plea-bargain arrangement that netted him three years notwithstanding?
Rush may have spent a brief chapter of his life addicted to prescription painkillers, but I have never heard of anyone saying Rush’s entire staff and conglomerate were doing drugs. Yet, not so very long ago, I spent time in an AFC East team locker room where 40 out of 45 players were doing drugs by their own admission.
When is the last time Rush was accused of rape or spousal abuse? When is the last time Rush was involved in gunplay or a stabbing at a nightclub? Has Rush ever been charged with felony DUI? How many NFL players and coaches has the net of those charges ensnared? I don’t recall Rush ever being charged with having a private residence for the express purpose of having sex, drug and alcohol parties as one group of NFL players did.
That this amalgamation of arrogant, self-indulgent athletes, with limited social and lingual marketability, are held up as role models, while Rush is bastardized, is an indictment of the zeitgeist that champions touchdowns and tackles over the freedom of reasoned expression. The NFL has welcomed back with open arms the likes of Leonard Little (DUI resulting in death, his blood alcohol .19 percent), Chip Banks, Billy Lane, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Michael Vick, Donte Stallworth (who received 30 days’ house arrest for DUI manslaughter with a blood alcohol of .126 percent), Lawrence Taylor, a coach threatening to kill another coach, and the list goes on and on. But Roger Goodell and the players’ association thinks Rush would be bad for the NFL. I submit the NFL would welcome back Rae Carruth if his 18–24-year sentence for conspiracy to murder his pregnant girlfriend were shortened, assuming he still had the requisite skills.
Does anyone think Jim Brown would be held to the same standard being applied to Rush? Brown’s extraordinary record of assaulting women, accusations of rape, an unexplained instance of a woman being thrown from a balcony, assault, ad nauseam, would not be a blip on the radar screen, if he were inclined to be involved in the purchase of a franchise.
It’s a shame that the decent, honest, reputable players are often branded with the thugs of the league. But that is what they are attempting to do to Rush. They are attempting to brand someone they know nothing about as a racist and a bigot, when the truth is he has done more for the ordinary person than the NFL thug-nasties – unless supporting bars and nightclubs by perpetual drunkenness counts.
Agree with his opinions or not, Rush Limbaugh is singularly responsible for a generation of talk-format opinion and national debate. No has done more for the cause of public discourse and involvement than Rush has done. The thuggery responsible for scaring those considering the purchase of the St. Louis Rams and Rush’s participation in same have further paved the way for the downward spiral of America.
Their capitulation and transpicuous display of cowardice based on greed has strengthened and encouraged those who would ransack the rights of an individual to buy, own and make gain. The Checketts group’s act of cowardice will further be used in the current administration’s attempt to silence the voice they fear most. Congratulation, guys – you’ve contributed to the very campaign you privately decry.
Lest I omit the involvement of Jackson and Sharpton in the attacks against Rush – maybe they can put together a group of interested buyers. After all, they have just the kind of sordid backgrounds Roger Goodell and the league obviously find appealing – it’s white conservatism they cannot abide.