On the February 5 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh, responding to media coverage of Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, stated "they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback." Limbaugh later insisted in conversation with a caller that, "they just want this guy not to do well 'cause he's a white quarterback," and that Grossman was "targeted for destruction." The Bears lost to the Indianapolis Colts 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI.
Limbaugh was forced to resign from his position as a football analyst for ESPN in 2003 after he claimed that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because "[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." The following season, McNabb led his team to the Super Bowl.
From the February 5 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: And before we go to the break here, folks, I've got to get something off my chest. You know, the game was the game. And the game was what it was. But I - I can't handle anymore press criticism of Rex Grossman. They're writing his name W-R-E-C-K-S. They're just -- worst quarterback ever to play in the Super Bowl. And it's been like this since the Green Bay game -- actually since the Arizona game, a little crescendo of it in the Green Bay game, the last game of the season for the Bears. And it's just unrelenting! It's just -- they're focusing on this guy like they don't focus on anybody! And I tell you, I know what it is. The media, the sports media, has got social concerns that they are first and foremost interested in, and they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback.
CALLER: But, I also wanted to say that I appreciated the fact that you were having some compassion for Grossman. I sat there last night watching the game and I felt sorry for him. He is a Hoosier, by the way. His grandfather played for the Baltimore Colts.
CALLER: And I -- you know, he's a young guy. You know, it's a team effort.
LIMBAUGH: It's, yeah, they're just all over this guy. They can't wait for this guy to fail. They are hoping he fails.
CALLER: Yes, they're terrible.
LIMBAUGH: They're talking about before the game, they're talking about him as the worst quarterback ever to play in the Super Bowl and they're asking [Bears head coach] Lovie Smith all during the week, "When are you going to bench the guy, Lovie? At what point in the game?" And that's the only time Lovie Smith apparently lost his cool a little bit during the week with, with media sessions. You know what this is: The media - you, you know the social things. I don't need to go into this.
CALLER: Well --
LIMBAUGH: They, they just want this guy not to do well 'cause he's a white quarterback.
CALLER: Even during the game last night. Before, before they went on the air they were all saying who they were going to pick and why and everything and when the, you know, the - they made their first runback with the score - then they started turning the tables on everything. It's like, "Now, wait a minute. I heard what you said before the game started." You know? Now they're changing tunes because --
LIMBAUGH: Well, because they're -- no -- they were all acting surprised. Everybody was acting, "Whoa. Grossman can actually complete a pass. Why nobody thought this would happen. Let's stop everything and give him the MVP now. He actually completed a pass." But he came through for them in the end. All those fumbles. The wounded-duck interceptions. He gave them the copy they wanted to write today all last week.
CALLER: Well --
LIMBAUGH: They were hoping to write that Grossman was an embarrassment and that Lovie Smith needs to seriously bring in somebody to compete with him next training camp. I can, look it, I feel for the guy. He's, apparently, bores, bears up under it rather well or has borne up under it rather well or so his teammates say and so forth. But the guy's been targeted for destruction.