Remember ESPN's disastrous hiring of Rush Limbaugh as football analyst in 2003? It didn't take long for Rush to, well, be himself. Only a few weeks into the 2003 season, Limbaugh was critical of then-Eagles quarterback Donovan McNab.
Limbaugh was trying to make a point that McNab is overrated. Of course, Limbaugh can't resist the urge to inject race into the discussion, even when it isn't about race.
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Limbaugh made his comments prior to Philadelphia's 23-13 win against the Buffalo Bills:
"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go," Limbaugh said. "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."
ESPN offered a tepid response in 2003, much like yesterday's flaccid statement about Hank Williams Jr:
"Although Mr. Limbaugh today stated that his comments had 'no racist intent whatsoever,' we have communicated to Mr. Limbaugh that his comments were insensitive and inappropriate. Throughout his career, he has been consistent in his criticism of the media's coverage of a myriad of issues," the statement read.
Earlier, ESPN executive vice president Mark Shapiro came to the conservative Limbaugh's defense.
"This is not a politically motivated comment. This is a sports and media argument," Shapiro was quoted as saying in a USA Today column published Wednesday. "Rush was arguing McNabb is essentially overrated and that his success is more in part [due] to the team assembled around him."
Shapiro defended the hiring of Limbaugh at the time by offering this:
"We brought Rush in for no-holds-barred opinion. Early on, he has delivered," Shapiro told USA Today.
Apparently Limbaugh practiced this "no-holds-barred opinion by refusing to grant interviews after his comments.
Some people may correct me and say that Limbaugh "resigned," but if you look at his comments just one day later, that appears to be spin:
The next day, Limbaugh told the National Association of Broadcasters at a convention in Philadelphia, "The great people at ESPN did not want to deal with this kind of reaction."
Moreover, this is the exact time that we learned that Limbaugh is pathetic junkie:
At the convention Limbaugh did not directly address questions about his name being linked by law enforcement sources to an investigation into a black market drug ring in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The sources said Thursday that authorities are looking into the illegal sales of prescription drugs OxyContin and hydrocodone.
Law enforcement sources said Limbaugh, who has a home in Palm Beach, is not the focus of the investigation. His name came up as a possible buyer, the sources said, during a two-year probe of a suspected multimillion-dollar black market operation.
The most likely scenario is that ESPN fired Limbaugh for the drug investigation, likely because it violated a moral turpitude clause in his contract. Essentially, Oxy-Rush saved ESPN the embarrassment of retaining him and his drug trafficking made it an easy decision to fire him.
We do not know what ESPN will do regarding the future of Hank Williams Jr. but a one game "suspension" seems pathetic. This washed up rummy clown is like George W. Bush in that he's only a "celebrity" because of his father. Let's keep the pressure on ESPN and make sure he's a washed up, alcoholic loser that got fired for being a racist douche.
Update: per Media Matters, I have included Hank William's Jr's statement that he made to that well-known press agency, TMZ.com Snip.:
Hank Williams Jr. has just released a statement regarding his controversial statements on Fox News Channel this morning -- claiming he was simply "misunderstood" when he compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler . Williams Jr. says, "Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood. My analogy was extreme - but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me - how ludicrous that pairing was." He continues, "They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will. I have always respected the office of the President." Williams Jr. adds, "Every time the media brings up the tea party it's painted as racist and extremists - but there's never a backlash - no outrage to those comparisons... Working class people are hurting - and it doesn't seem like anybody cares. When both sides are high-fiving it on the ninth hole when everybody else is without a job - it makes a whole lot of us angry. Something has to change. The policies have to change."
His statement is full of fecal matter. Even the hacks on Fox and Friends, gave him a chance to walk back his statement and he declined. In fact he doubled down if you watch the video. What was both pathetic and funny, is that Lush Jr. was asked by F&F about "which Republican Presidential candidate he liked." They did not ask him about the President, the Speaker, the VP, or Gov. Kasich.
This is such a Mel Gibson-ish "apology. Williams Jr. is only apologizing because his stupid comments will hurt him financially and that is the source of his "remorse." In fact his apology is so lame, it reminds me of the Family Guy version of Mel Gibson's apology.
Moreover, every thing that Wiliams Jr. said reenforces and does not debunk what many people already think about the Tea Party. No matter how often or how loud they insist that they're not racists, they prove how racist they are. Taken Herman Cain's remarks — as tepid as they were — about Rick Perry's N-head problem and the predictable RW outrage directed at...Herman Cain.