Well, that didn’t take long
Rush Limbaugh has resigned from ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown. A furor erupted over the following remarks he made last Sunday about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb: I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little ...
Rush Limbaugh has resigned from ESPN's NFL Sunday Countdown. A furor erupted over the following remarks he made last Sunday about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb:
Rush Limbaugh has resigned from ESPN’s NFL Sunday Countdown. A furor erupted over the following remarks he made last Sunday about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb:
I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.
Limbaugh’s statement today:
My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love NFL Sunday Countdown and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen.
The statement of George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN and ABC Sports:
We accept his resignation and regret the circumstances surrounding this. We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously.
Five quick thoughts: 1) Limbaugh has a legitimate point about the Eagles defense being underappreciated last year. 2) His point about the media is absurd. There are now a lot of successful black quarterbacks in the NFL — see Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Aaron Brooks, etc. The media focused on McNabb because he was good (I say this as a New York Giants fan) and looked great playing on TV. They want him to do well in the exact same way that they want Brett Favre to do well — they like star QBs on winning teams. 3) According to this story:
After the reaction surrounding his remarks started to heat up, Limbaugh was asked to appear on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Wednesday night but declined.
Ducking that appearance strikes me as pretty lame. 4) Limbaugh lost me when he confidently predicted New England would beat Buffalo in week 1. [Yeah, but sports guys make dumb-ass predictions every day!–ed. In their first week?] 5) Limbaugh can console himself that he lasted longer than Clayton Cramer did on the Volokh Conspiracy. [Snark–ed. Yeah, but it was good snark.] UPDATE: This is an excellent opportunity to plus Football Outsiders, a football blog dedicated to taking sabremetrics and applying them to the NFL. If you go to this 2002 page on QB value, you’ll see that by their metric of rating quarterbacks, McNabb had a solid if unspectacular season last year — and a really bad season this year. Sticking to 2002, these stats suggest that McNabb might have been overrated compared to say, New York Giants QB Kerry Collins — but then again, so were Brett Favre, Drew Bledsoe, Tommy Maddox, and Kelly Holcomb. Oh, and buried in this otherwise hystrionic King Kaufman piece is an amusing nugget about Howard Dean:
It took a few days, but by Wednesday there was a wave of outrage at Limbaugh’s race-baiting. Democratic presidential candidates faxed out their tsk-tsks and demands for Limbaugh’s head, including Howard Dean, who hilariously proclaimed, “Rush Limbaugh’s comment this week about Philadelphia Jets quarterback Donovan McNabb is unacceptable.” The governor really kicked a touchdown with that one.
Heh. ANOTHER UPDATE: Allen Barra says that Rush Limbaugh was correct, at least in regard to Allen Barra. Is it my imagination, or does Slate specialize in publishing mea culpas from liberals who say that conservatives are correct about something — but only after a liberal result has been achieved?
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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