Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh said that a November 19 brawl that broke out during a National Basketball Association (NBA) game was "hip-hop culture on parade." Limbaugh asserted that the fight -- which involved Indiana Pacers team members and Detroit Pistons team members and fans -- was "gang behavior on parade minus the guns," and that NBA uniforms are "now in gang colors. They are in gang styles." In making the comments, Limbaugh conceded that his remarks were likely to be "tagged as racist." Limbaugh also appeared to compare the brawl to the unrest in Fallujah, Iraq, suggesting that Detroit be renamed "New Fallujah, Michigan."
Limbaugh delivered his remarks on the same day that he touted his receipt of the Winston Churchill Statesmanship Award from the conservative Claremont Institute. Previous award recipients include former President Ronald Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. San Diego Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos, who presented Limbaugh with the award, noted that it is given to "those who look up to the sky for the noble principles of justice, right and liberty."
From the November 22 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: There is something about this hip-hop culture business. I'm not going to mention the name because there's thousands of them, but I've been watching interviews with ex-NBA players and current NBA players. You know what the common theme that I'm hearing is? "Well, I'm not going to be dissed. I'm simply not going to be disrespected. Somebody disrespects me, they're going to pay for it." Meaning, "A fan disrespects me, that fan's going to pay for it," not just another player.
And that comes right out of the hip-hop culture, and it's not just that. You look at NBA players and the uniforms, you don't have to go back very far. The uniforms have changed totally. They're now in gang colors. They are in gang styles.
But there's a reason this is happening. I'm not saying it's nothing to be concerned about. There's a reason. But I don't think anybody ought to be surprised, folks. I really don't think anybody ought to be surprised. This is the hip-hop culture on parade. This is gang behavior on parade minus the guns. That's the culture that the NBA has become. So if anybody will be honest with you about it in the NBA, and a very few will have the courage to, because saying what I just said is going to be tagged as racist, but I, my friends, am fearless when it comes to this because the truth will out, and that's what's happening here, and part and parcel of this gang culture, this hip-hop culture, is: "I'm not going to tolerate being dissed. I'm not going to be disrespected," and "disrespected" is now so broad that it includes somebody looking at you the wrong way.
CALLER: This is not a new thing with the Piston fans.
LIMBAUGH: I know. That's why I say call it "New Fallujah, Michigan."