Along with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has denounced Rush Limbaugh's participation in a bid to buy the St. Louis Rams, encouraging NFL players to speak their minds about Limbaugh and "embrace their roles not only in the game of football but also as players and partners in the business of the NFL." At least seven players have taken that advice. At Politics Daily, Carl Cannon points out that Smith is Obama supporter who has worked closely with Attorney General Eric Holder. Cannon points to Smith's campaign against Limbaugh, and concludes in part that there's too much politics going on here...that the NFL is supposed to be free of all that.
But Limbaugh's style and substance both are polarizing on their own. The pros and cons of Limbaugh-as-owner are a discussion the NFL was bound to have: it kind of makes one wonder if that campaign would have gotten underway on its own, without the help of a Democratic NFLPA leader. Encouragement from the union signals that it's okay to speak up, but the NFL is full of personalities, and lots of interviews happen daily. One has to wonder if just as many members of the NFL family would offer their opinions without anyone telling them it's okay.