Hugh Hewitt

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Tuesday about the possibility of Rush Limbaugh acquiring a piece of the NFL's St. Louis Rams, and responded:

"I've said many times before we're all held to a high standard here, and I think divisive comments are not what the NFL is all about. I would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL, absolutely not."

Goodell has not yet held up his hand and proclaimed that he is holding within it a list of conservative pundits who cannot be allowed to continue to attend NFL games, but check in next week. It is classic McCarthyism to use unspecified charges of political wrongdoing to blacklist an individual, and that's what Goodell did yesterday.

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It was also a very divisive statement, so by his own standard, I guess Goodell will be turning in his resignation.

Goodell's decision to throw the NFL into the middle of the left-right debate in the country --and to do so solidly on the side of the left-- must have surprised his owner-employers who last I looked will gladly sell tickets to conservatives. I myself have owned season tickets to the hapless Browns since the franchise returned to Cleveland, and long before that I attended every home game on my dad's nickel from 1965 to 1974. No one talked politics at those games. The NFL was, and until recently had remained, a politics free zone which provided a common ground all football fans regardless of their political ideology.

I covered the subject on my radio program for almost all of my three hours yesterday, and great numbers of long time NFL fans are incensed. They believe Rush has been unfairly slandered by much of the commentary around him, and yesterday's MSNBC appearance by Professor Karen Hunter of Hunter College in New York took Rush-bashing to a new low. Hunter bluntly declared that Rush Limbaugh had endorsed a posthumous Medal of Honor for Martin Luther King assassin James Earl Ray --a ludicrous defamation that went completely unchallenged by the anchor. What can you say about such reckless and reprehensible hate speech, except that it not be welcomed on any cable network, much less NBC. That so poisonous an environment around Rush exists as to allow such a malicious fabrication to pass unchallenged should have warned Goodell not to credit the feverish assertions of the anti-Rush mob.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.