When Rush Limbaugh Talks Football, He Still Can't Help But Make It About Race
Blog ››› ››› EMILY ARROWOOD
After former NFL football star Junior Seau's death on May 2, the long-term effects head injuries can have on NFL players are once again a hot topic. Although there is no conclusive evidence on the precise consequences of head traumas, doctors suspect these traumas do leave a lasting mark on the brain. In that vein, more than 100 former football players filed a lawsuit last week against the NFL, claiming the league does not do enough to protect its players against brain injury.
According to Rush Limbaugh, however, those advocating for heightened NFL safety rules are "wusses." He spent much of his talk radio show Friday lamenting that new safety regulations will only "pave the way" for the game's demise. In 2010, when the League proposed a new rule to lessen the number of concussions, Limbaugh mocked the rule, asking if players will now receive awards for "courageous restraint" by not tackling.
And in typical Limbaugh fashion, he has struggled to discuss this issue without resorting to racially charged commentary. Today, Limbaugh claimed that "somebody is gonna figure out here pretty soon that since 75 percent of the players in the NFL are African-American -- that 75 percent of the concussions are being suffered by African-Americans." He continued:
LIMBAUGH: And then somebody is going to say, maybe this week after I put it out here, somebody is going to say: How long are we going to put up with the sacrifice of African-American males for a bloodthirsty American audience? How long are we willingly going to submit African-American males to maiming, concussions, early death, and perhaps suicide -- for what? The bloodlust of the American population?
And they'll make the obvious connection to the old plantation days. You watch. That's what's gonna happen. It will be used as a further arrow in the quiver to ban the game -- not something we have to protect because it employs so many African-Americans.
Limbaugh has been unable to resist injecting race into his discussions of football. Back in 2007, Limbaugh declared that the "NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons." In April, he ranted that whenever a black man becomes a head coach in the NFL, the media act "as though this particular coach just got out off the plantation. No longer is he picking cotton." He added: "It doesn't matter if the coach is qualified or not -- all that matters is his race."
But Limbaugh has developed such a reputation for racially incendiary comments while talking about the sport that numerous NFL players admitted they "wouldn't play" for a Limbaugh-owned team due to his "flat-out racist" comments.