This quote has been completely taken out of context by the usual racists and race hustlers to smear Rush Limbaugh. Well, here’s the quote in FULL context. You can decide for yourself if it makes Rush “racist”:
The Classless NFL Culture
January 19, 2007
CALLER: I’ve listened to you since September 11th, and I find that I almost always agree with you. I’d say I only disagree with you about 1.5% of the time coincidentally enough. But the reason I’m calling today, sir, is I wanted to get your thoughts regarding what LaDainian Tomlinson had to say about Bill Belichick this past week.
RUSH: Okay, I’m going to take your call, I’m going to use this to expand the answer to incorporate all of the National Football League if you don’t mind.
CALLER: Not at all.
RUSH: To set the table for people who do not know, after the Chargers and Patriots game, the Chargers sitting around moping, all depressed, because they had the game won, it was just all kinds of stupid mistakes, and let me tell you what happened. Some of the Patriots went to midfield where the Chargers logo is and started doing an imitation of a victory dance done by Chargers player Shawne Merriman after he sacks a quarterback. Now, here are the Chargers who have lost a game they should have won, who lost a game precisely because of the same kind of behavior they’re ripping the Patriots for, and LaDainian Tomlinson says that was classless, (paraphrasing) “We went in there, we beat them twice on their field and we didn’t disrespect them. This obviously comes from the head coach,” meaning Belichick. LaDainian Tomlinson was accusing Belichick of ordering his players and creating a culture that would make it okay for players to go on the field and taunt and so forth and so on.
Now, LaDainian Tomlinson to me is the classiest player in the National Football League. He doesn’t do a dance, he doesn’t spike the ball when he scores. He and Marvin Harrison are the two most classy individuals playing in the National Football League today, in skill positions. They just hand the ball back to the referee. They act like they’ve been there and done that, like scoring a touchdown is no big deal, they don’t taunt, they don’t act like they’ve been dissed or any of this. Let me tell you, the Chargers would not have lost that game were it not for a bunch of — I gotta be very careful here. It’s not just irresponsible, but there is a cultural problem in the NFL that has resulted in a total lack of class on the part of professional players.
There was a play where Brady was third and long, he was sacked, fumbled the ball, the Patriots recovered it, it will be fourth and long, forcing an interesting decision late in the game by the Patriots. After the play is over, a Chargers player gets in the face of a Patriots player, head butts him and starts jawing. This is the reason these guys are getting shot in bars, folks, late at night. Fifteen-yard penalty, automatic first down. So for the Chargers to complain about the lack of class by the Patriots, I found laughable. I think something ought to be done about it, because I love the game of football, and I don’t like the kind of culture that’s taking over, that “you can’t diss me, you can’t disrespect me.” After every sack, players are acting like they’ve won the Super Bowl, and they’re prancing around with these idiotic dances. The latest thing is to act like they’re making a jump shot in basketball. It’s all done to taunt; it’s all done to taunt the other team’s fans.
I don’t want boring football. I don’t want the no-fun league, but you can certainly have great football games without a lack of class. I don’t know how it’s been allowed to happen this way. I guess the coaches don’t feel confident to continue — this was very rare for the Patriots to act the way they did, and who knows what led to it. I don’t think of Belichick as that kind of coach, but Tomlinson’s words reverberated around the league. A lot of people said, “I’m glad he said something, because Belichick is getting away here with an image that he doesn’t deserve.” I’ve played golf with Belichick; he’s a mild-mannered, soft-spoken man. I even saw him at a cocktail party here in Palm Beach before dinner one night. That whole organization to me exudes class, as does Tom Brady, and you don’t see them doing this kind of stuff.
One of the reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers had trouble this year was a total lack of discipline, in addition to all their turnovers, total lack of discipline, 15-yard penalties, unnecessary roughness, taunting after plays are over, after successful defensive stands, they blow it. There’s something culturally wrong here that is leading to all this. It’s gotta be dealt with at the top, because it simply is classless. I can I understand LaDainian Tomlinson being upset because he doesn’t do this stuff. But in the current NFL climate the best way for the Chargers to prevent that from happening is win the game and keep this insidious, ridiculous, boorish, classless behavior to a minimum so that you don’t lose it on account of that. It’s just disappointing, and it’s a mystery to me why it’s being allowed to continue. Well, actually, I understand partially why it continues, and that’s because of ESPN.
ESPN lives off this. ESPN created Terrell Owens. Terrell Owens is who he is, but if Terrell Owens weren’t constantly on television with his antics after touchdowns — I remember, I called this. You remember the Monday night game on ABC and Seattle when after scoring a touchdown, T.O. playing for the Fort’iners, pulls a Sharpie out of his sock, autographs the ball and gives it to somebody. I said, “Folks, this is going to lead to nothing but trouble.” Everybody said, “Come on, Rush, lighten up, that was funny.” It was classless. Go back and look at the greats who played this game. They would not do anything of the sort, maybe hand the ball off, but not pull a Sharpie out. Everybody started to talk about how much fun that was, ooh, how cool, how creative. Then we get Joe Horn of the United States Saints after he scored a touchdown pulling a cell phone out of his socks and faked making a phone call. Well, guess what shows up on ESPN? So these guys get validated, everybody wants to stand out, they want to get endorsement deals and so forth. So television, making stars out of people who engage in classless behavior helps lead to it and contribute to it. No question in my mind about it. I’ll bet the guy that called from El Paso did not expect this as an answer.
RUSH: Look it, let me put it to you this way. The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
Thank you Jason Whitlock! You have expressed everything that has been going through my mind throughout this whole ridiculous “controversy” the last few days. We need more people such as you and Bill Cosby to step forward and lead the way for Blacks, instead of the hypocritical, bigoted race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Kudos to you, Mr. Whitlock: Imus Isn’t the Real Bad Guy
Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.
Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.
You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.
You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.
Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.
The bigots win again.
While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.
I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.
It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.
Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.
It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.
I’m no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.
But, in my view, he didn’t do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should’ve been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it’s only the beginning. It’s an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.
I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.
Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.
But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.
In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?
I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?
When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.
No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.
To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com
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