LIMBAUGH RESIGNS FROM ESPN
I saw this on ESPN News whilst eating lunch and found it on: their site
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said Thursday he resigned from ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” pregame show to protect network employees from the uproar over critical comments he made about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Limbaugh quit late Wednesday, three days after saying on the show that McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
“The great people at ESPN did not want to deal with this kind of reaction,” Limbaugh told the National Association of Broadcasters at its convention in Philadelphia on Thursday. “The path of least resistance became for me to resign.”
George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, accepted Limbaugh’s resignation Wednesday. ABC and ESPN are owned by Walt Disney Co.
“We regret the circumstances surrounding this,” Bodenheimer said. “We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously.”
On Wednesday, McNabb said he didn’t mind criticism of his performance, but was upset Limbaugh made his race an issue and said it was too late for an apology.
“It’s somewhat shocking to hear that on national TV from him,” McNabb said. “It’s not something that I can sit here and say won’t bother me.”
I saw Limbaugh’s commentary “live” Sunday morning and was surprised at the boldness of the remark. I disagree with Rush’s analysis here, in that McNabb has obviously been one of the premier quarterbacks in the league over the last three seasons or so, despite a rather weak start this year.
That said, there’s merit to his larger point, although I’m not sure it applies any longer to quarterbacks. Twenty years ago, a black quarterback was an anomoly in the NFL and even in college. Most black NCAA quarterbacks were of the “option” variety and usually converted to receivers or cornerbacks in the NFL. The Warren Moons and Doug Williamses were the rare exception. Not anymore. There are a number of marquee black quarterbacks, both pocket passers and scramblers.
The current frontier seems to be coaching. There is inordinate pressure at both the college and professional levels to hire black coaches, given that there are so few of them in proportion to the number of black players. The Detroit Lions were fined a huge sum for hiring the coach they wanted without holding token interviews with black candidates–even though they had offered interviews to several black candidates. Coaches like Tony Dungy and Tyrone Willingham seem to get praised far out of proportion to their actual achievement on the football field.