[This post includes political, social and Dolphins commentary. If you have a problem with any of those don't bother reading it.]
Pulling his shorts up to his waist and then motioning over to a couple of waiting reporters who wanted to interview him in the Dolphins locker room Wednesday, nose tackle Jason Ferguson used the N-word.
He was talking either to a teammate or one of the reporters who is black, but that didn't matter because the word seemingly floated away -- clearly heard but ignored because, in an NFL locker room, that word is uttered by players practically every day.
Sometimes the N-word is said in jest. Sometimes it is said in anger or rage. Sometimes it is blasted through boom boxes playing rap music. Sometimes it is clustered with taunts about another player's mother or wife or, in extreme vengeance-filled moments, another player's boyfriend.
And this is the NFL Roger Goodell wants to protect from Rush Limbaugh comments?
Limbaugh will not be part of the group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams, it was announced Wednesday. Pressure from inside and outside the NFL doomed Limbaugh's attempt to own the team, meaning a group of people decided a game played on a lined field has to draw one more line to keep Limbaugh out.
Funny how folks that once marched against exclusion, such as Jesse Jackson, will call for exclusion when it suits them. Interesting how Al Sharpton is appalled at Limbaugh's divisiveness but gives himself a free pass when he says things like, "white folks was living in caves while we was building empires."
The hypocrisy on this issue is everywhere. It is rampant. It is sickening.
The same commissioner that is allowing dog-killer Michael Vick to play in the NFL doesn't want Limbaugh to vie for an ownership stake because, "We're all held to a high standard here and divisive comments are not what the NFL's all about," Goodell said earlier this week. "I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL, no. Absolutely not."
So the league allows dog-killers, wife-beaters, strip club addicts, girlfriend-batterers, drug addicts, drunk drivers, and coaches who allegedly bust up other coaches, but the commish is worried about divisive quotes?
About those quotes: The same news media that is "reporting" what Limbaugh has said in the past is filled with people who loathe Limbaugh because they don't agree with his view of the world. Those "journalists" have been trotting out two quotes from Jack Huberman's 2006 book, "101 People Who Are Really Screwing America."
The first and most damning of those, quotes Limbaugh as saying, "Let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back. I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."
That quote appeared on CNN's Rick Sanchez show. It appeared in a column written on Foxsports.com. It appeared all over the Internet.
And not one "journalist" who used it can verify its validity. Not one 'journalist" who broadcast the quote actually heard Limbaugh say it. Not one actually heard a tape recording of Limbaugh saying it. Meanwhile, on one of his shows this week, Limbaugh said he's never uttered those words.
Somebody produce the tape or retract the quote!
And, yes, the second quote does not make this space because it is equally unsubstantiated and unverifiable.
Another thing the "journalists" reporting this story haven't told you: Huberman, the man they are using as their source, has penned other books, including The Bush-Haters Handbook and The GOP-Haters Handbook. So, of course, it's not like Huberman has an agenda or anything dark like that.
I am part of the media. I have friends in the media. Most of those friends lean left. They know, and now you know, I lean right. That's not the point. The point is the media has an agenda. And my agenda is to expose the hypocrisy on this issue.
I saw that hypocrisy at work in the Miami locker room Wednesday.
Several reporters were going around the locker room asking players their opinions of Limbaugh and the possibility he might own an NFL team
This is how one interview went:
Reporter: "What's your take on Rush Limbaugh and the Rams?"
Running back Ronnnie Brown scissors closed his index finger and thumb and zips them across his mouth to signify his lips are sealed. And after a pause Brown then says...
"I don't know, I mean, I guess it's good in a way that he's interested in wanting to be the owner of an NFL team. At the same time, who's to say. I don't know."
That, of course, is not the answer the reporter wants. It sounds almost pro-Limbaugh. So ...
Reporter: "Well some guys would say they would never play for a team that he has ownership stake in. You think that's a legitimate statement?"
Of course anyone would answer that is a legitimate statement. It's an opinion from another player so how is Brown supposed to say it is not legitimate? The question is leading and practically begs agreement with the dump-Limbaugh agenda.
And despite this, Brown refuses to go in that direction.
"Obviously, they're entitled to their own opinion," he responds. "For me, I'm not going to say that. I don't know. You never know. You could be sitting here jobless and depending on what kind of situation you're in and you don't have any money coming in, it's hard to turn down a job like this."
Greg Camarillo is Hispanic. So not only is he a minority in American society, he's among the smallest of minorities in a league that is approximately 65 percent black, 30 percent white and approximately 5 percent everybody else.
So what does Camarillo think of Limbaugh's attempt to enter the league before news of his exclusion is announced?
"Ya'll trying to make me political real quick," he says to reporters with a grin. "I don't have too much to say about that. We'll let the business handlers handle their business. But, I mean, the man has said controversial things in the past. Things that bring up the issue of race. The NFL is obviously a diverse work place. You have to be pretty sensitive to everybody's beats. You can't alienate any group. That being said, we leave the business to the business people and trust the NFL and NFLPA handle it properly."
Camarillo is much too trusting.
The NFL Players Association, the union representing the players, encouraged its players to speak out on the Limbaugh matter. According to this ESPN report, NFL Players executive director DeMaurice Smith wrote an e-mail to the union's executive committee on the subject.
"I've spoken to the Commissioner and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages," Smith wrote. "But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred."
Agreed. The NFL is best when it transcends things such as polictics. So why is Smith getting all political? The NFL is best when it overcomes division. So why doesn't Smith admit he, himself, is divisive when he mentions discrimination without citing a tangible, verifiable example?
It is called double-speak.
This, meanwhile, is not double-speak, but fact: Smith served in President Clinton's Administration as Counsel to then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder in the US Department of Justice. Holder is now in President Barak Obama's Attorney General. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats.
Smith has contributed $6,850 to political campaigns since 2004 -- all to Democrat Party candidates. Smith made his largest contribution in 2008 when he contributed $2,300 to President Obama's campaign. Limbaugh, in case you are not aware, is one of President Obama's most ardent and high-profile critics.
So is Smith transcending his differences with Limbaugh? Or is Smith using his position as a union boss to further his personal political beliefs and bring down an opposing point of view?
Smith's e-mail rejects discrimination. Well, is it not discriminatory in America to want to exclude someone from a business venture simply because one does not agree with that person's politics?
Yes. Or no. Please answer.
And back to the "journalists" for a second: Did you read anywhere what Smith's political leanings actually are in all those stories you read where he rips Limbaugh's attempt at ownership? Or were those facts left out?
Now Limbaugh is not a pristine individual. He's been divorced three times -- some NFL people have been divorced just as often. In 2003 he admitted being addicted to prescription pain killers -- Brett Favre once admitted to the same. He often appears on Fox News Channel championing conservative views -- as does Goodell's wife, Jane Skinner, who is an anchor and commentator on the channel and the daughter of a former White House Chief of staff under the elder President Bush.
So what makes Limbaugh so villainously different?
Limbaugh is polarizing in a country that, guess what, is polarized. But he is no more, and probably less, of a racist than the two men leading the charge against his ownership bid -- Sharpton, who infamously offended Mormons last year and Jackson, who once referred to Jews as "Hymies."
Limbaugh has addressed race issues in forums that "journalists" can actually confirm.
Limbaugh resigned from ESPN in 2003 for stirring a racial controversy when he basically said Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was getting preferential treatment from the media because he is black.
"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL," Limbaugh said on air. "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."
Stupid, yes. Unsophisticated in its general assumptions, yes.
The NFL better clean up all the N-words floating around its locker rooms before anyone makes that leap.