You may remember when Rush Limbaugh was part of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” program for all of a month before leaving after his infamous comments regarding then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (and current free agent) Donovan McNabb.
You may recall he attempted to purchase a portion of the St. Louis Rams.
In other words, he’s a football fan, just like you and me.
Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear Limbaugh rap about the NFL on his nationally-syndicated radio show, even during a busy election season.
On this particular day, Limbaugh decided to comment on a recent Jason Whitlock piece in which he described what he calls the black quarterback “information bubble.” Meaning quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, who’s impressing in his rookie season thus far, and Cam Newton, who’s been anything but in his sophomore year, “can do no wrong, and any criticism of them is rooted in racism.”
“What? W-w-what?,” responded Limbaugh. “There’s a bubble of media types that protects black quarterbacks? … Hmm! Who knew?”
The fact that Limbaugh was divulging a Jason Whitlock column on the air was enough to grind the author’s gears. The first thing he did is tweet out a link to an ESPN.com “Page 2” column that he wrote following the dismissal of his former Worldwide Leader colleague.
Then, he tweeted this: “Limbaugh talks race daily. He’s earned [hundreds] of millions doing it. [You] never hear right-wing idiots complaining Rush talks [too] much race. #think”
He again wondered about the lack of complaints about Limbaugh “talking race too much” on his show as he shared a link to the transcript of the portion of Limbaugh’s show in which he was “using my Cam column to talk race.”
I take it Whitlock is not very honored to have his works being read on a popular radio program. I’m sure he would, as long as it wasn’t one hosted by Limbaugh.
“He’s saying here,” Limbaugh commented, “that there’s a group of people in the media that… don’t want criticism/truth said about black quarterbacks because it’s racist and it’s unfair, so there’s a protective bubble around them that might result in them being overrated and certainly not being able to learn to deal with adversity. Because when helpful critique doesn’t happen because the person fears being called a racist and therefore shuts up, then there’s no progress.”
Meanwhile, Whitlock appeared on Mike Missanelli’s radio show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (click here for audio), and Whitlock explained that the “bubble” he writes of does not parallel Limbaugh’s McNabb comments nine years ago.
“Rush Limbaugh talked about… the sports media is desirous of Donovan McNabb having all the success. As a fan, did I want to see Donovan McNabb have some success? Yes. As a journalist? I could care less… I don’t think the sports media was bending over backwards hoping for Donovan McNabb to have some success… I thought [Rush] really, really overreached, and that format that he’s on TV, trying to blurt that out there, isn’t the proper place… And just to be quite honest, Rush Limbaugh is not qualified to make these comments, and it’s not because he’s white, it’s because he is in no way, in my opinion, trying to be thoughtful on these issues, if you just look at his track record, and I don’t think he’s given it a whole lot of thought… He doesn’t have football expertise… I’m sure he watches the NFL somewhat, but for the most part, he follows politics around the clock. It just wasn’t his place, and so, I didn’t have a problem with what ESPN did to him, and he’s certainly no victim because, you know, he makes a boatload of money talking about these issues and race.”
Whitlock mentioned the fact that Limbaugh “read my column today on his show, and talked about it extensively, and agreed with it, and tried to subtly use it as, ‘Hey, look, I was trying to say this in 2003, but…'” Yet Limbaugh didn’t even utter McNabb’s name during the segment in which he read Whitlock’s column.
But Jason Whitlock did give credit where it’s due. “I’m not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, and his perspective, but the guy is a great radio broadcaster, and he’s an entertainer and all that, but I don’t really respect his perspective… I’m not gonna – he has the right to talk about my column.”
And he looks forward to the day that “right-wing idiots” complain about Limbaugh reading a Whitlock piece.