Add USA Today to the growing list of media outlets 
smearing Rush Limbaugh as a racist to support their opposition to
Limbaugh becoming an NFL team owner as part of a group bidding to
purchase the St. Louis Rams. In a column featured on page 3 of Monday's
Sports section, Drew Sharp, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press  - which like USA Today is owned by Gannett - declared "the NFL should pass on Rush." Sharp argued:
The league cannot be that hamstrung in finding deep-pocketed financiers that it's left with no alternative but embracing someone whose occupational practice is making people feel more comfortable within their own prejudices.
Two paragraphs later, Sharp bemoaned: "Limbaugh's quest to buy the
St. Louis Rams simply becomes another act in the football freak show."
And he concluded: "When you really think about it, Limbaugh's bombastic
style perfectly meshes with a league mind-set that's already sacrificed
its scruples."From the top of Sharp's October 12 column, "Rush decision matter of pride and prejudice ."
The NFL should pass on Rush. Nobody's suggesting that Rush Limbaugh doesn't have the right to pursue an NFL franchise. They're his millions and he can spend them any way he chooses, but that doesn't mean the NFL must accept the conservative political entertainer's check. The league cannot be that hamstrung in finding deep-pocketed financiers that it's left with no alternative but embracing someone whose occupational practice is making people feel more comfortable within their own prejudices.
Of course, I also thought the league was better off walking away from Michael Vick.
But cash trumps conscience in the NFL, cultivating a petri dish of assorted polarizing characters who've either done or said things that made us cringe. Yet the intermingling of those prickly personalities is somehow more easily justified within the realm of entertainment if it keeps the NFL profit flow fluid.
Limbaugh's quest to buy the St. Louis Rams simply becomes another act in the football freak show....
- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center