Rush Limbaugh's bid to buy the St. Louis Rams is stoking fury among liberal Democrats who are recruiting prominent players and athletic unions to speak out and thwart the conservative talk show host's plans.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay pledged this week to vote against him, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell added his own blast, saying that NFL insiders would not tolerate the conservative commentator's "divisive" comments, according to the AP.
On Tuesday, Goodell pronounced, “We're all held to a high standard here, and I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about."
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Throughout, the Rams have remained mum, not so much as confirming that the team is for sale.
In the latest development, a Capitol Hill lawmaker chimed in. This week, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, urged the NFL not to let the conservative Limbaugh buy the Rams, according to a report by The Hill.
Limbaugh, at one time an employee of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, has professed interest in buying the team. However, Jackson Lee is concerned about Limbaugh's pointed commentary regarding Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2003, according to The Hill report.
Jackson Lee maintains that the episode shows that the radio host is "divisive" and therefore a bad bet for ownership of the struggling franchise. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus, she said agrees with the NFL Players Association, which also has expressed major doubts about Limbaugh's bid.
In 2003, Limbaugh left the ESPN show "Sunday NFL Countdown" to protect the network from the uproar caused by his statement that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed, according to a CNN report.
A the time, McNabb said he didn't mind criticism of his performance but was upset that Limbaugh made his race an issue, adding it was too late for an apology.
Jackson Lee noted that, although Limbaugh has a First Amendment right to comment as he saw fit, "I know he is not the kind of owner the NFL needs." She urged the NFL to "do the right thing" and "have some integrity" by nixing any Limbaugh bid.
Not everyone wants to see Limbaugh benched, however,
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., another Congressional Black Caucus member, told The Hill that he not only had no problems with Limbaugh's bid but also predicted that the controversial air personality could ramp up the team's performance.
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