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Rev. Jesse Jackson Comments on Rush Limbaugh's Bid for the Rams

October 12, 2009

“The National Football League (NFL) has set high standards for racial justice and inclusion. The racial interrelation, kinship and fraternity have enabled the NFL to be a force for good in the national dialogue.

This week professional athletes and former athletes have called us unceasingly on the prospective ownership of Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh’s racist and insensitive statements have proven to be hurtful. He stated that slavery has merit; that James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, deserves a medal of honor; that the NFL looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips. He has also made demeaning statements about the NAACP and the life and work of Nelson Mandela.

A man who believes “the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well” and questions at length the talents of Donovan McNabb, and has referred to President Barak Obama as a “halfrican American” should not have the privilege of owning an NFL team.

Isn’t it ironic that the millions Limbaugh has made from demeaning and disrespecting blacks--playing into the fears of whites—he would then use to control the contracts and life options of African American players?

The unending line of insults should eliminate him in the consideration of ownership rights of a team with African-American players and coaches.

I applaud those players-black and white-and the players union for speaking up.

Other team owners have some role and a say in who will be a team owner.

We are prepared to meet with ownership. We are prepared to protest, picket and pray. Our dignity is nonnegotiable.”

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization devoted to protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. To learn more, please visit http://www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366. To arrange an interview with Rev. Jackson, please call the numbers listed above. -30-

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