By Bob Cusack
Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Tuesday urged the National Football League (NFL) not
to let conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh buy the St. Louis Rams.
Limbaugh, a former employee of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, has said he is interested in buying the winless team. But Jackson Lee, citing Limbaugh's controversial remarks about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2003, said the right-leaning radio host is "divisive."
Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said she agrees with the NFL Players Association, which has expressed major concerns about Limbaugh's bid.
While stressing that she is a firm believer in the First Amendment and acknowledging the matter is not a government issue, Jackson Lee said in a floor speech, "I know he is not the kind of owner the NFL needs." She called on the NFL to "do the right thing" and "have some integrity" by rebuffing Limbaugh.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), another CBC member, last week told The Hill that he had no problems with Limbaugh's bid and even suggested the outspoken conservative could improve the team's performance.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday suggested that a Limbaugh bid would not be approved by the league, saying, "we're all held to a high standard here, and I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about."
Soon after Limbaugh said on ESPN that McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see an African-American quarterback succeed, he resigned from the all-sports network. Limbaugh had been working for ESPN on its NFL pregame show.
The video of Jackson Lee's speech can be viewed here.