Mikhail Prokhorov and Rush Limbaugh

What could our title subjects possibly have in common? Why, sports, of course. Prokhorov is the richest man in Russia, estimated worth is $9.5 billion and we all know who Limbaugh is, although not nearly that wealthy. Both are involved in efforts to buy professional sports franchises. Prokhorov is attempting to buy a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets while Limbaugh is involved in efforts to buy the St Louis Rams.

Who cares, except maybe fans of those teams or of the NBA or NFL? Why, for starters, the Rev Al Sharpton and the head of the NFL Players Association,DeMaurice Smith. Both of these individuals are opposed to the Limbaugh bid as are a number of NFL players, seven so it is said, none of whom have been named.

First caveat is that Limbaugh’s group is not the only one interested in the Rams. There are  at least  six other groups,including one that has African-American members;Donald Watkins and Dave Steward. Mr Smith is careful not to use the word racist in describing Limbaugh. He also says that the union does not have a say in potential ownership choices. He is encouraging players to speak their minds about this issue and other facets of the league’s  business. No problem with that. But wonder how often, players have expressed their feelings-pro or con- about a potential team owner?

Mr Smith, a Washington attorney, had some other comments in his e-mail.

“Our men are strong and  proud sons, fathers, spouses and I am proud when they stand up,understand this is their profession and speak with candor and blunt honesty about how they feel.”

“…sport is  at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer and  it transcends.Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and reject discrimination and hatred.”

Smith at no point makes any direct accusations against Limbaugh. Reading between the lines,to me at least, are strong inferences against him.

Now, stack up these quotes with comments by Stephen A Smith in  a  CNN    interview. This Smith is well familiar with sports fans for his ESPN work. The host, Christine Romans questions Smith about the  opposition to Limbaugh.

She asked him players allegedly taking a moral stand, implying they would not play a Limbaugh owned team because of comment she has made in the past that had racial overtones. Smith said, “They’re lying. Wasting my time….

If he has the dollars. he should be allowed to do it.It’s not like he’s ignorant to the game of football.The man knows football. He’s a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.Oh, you’re going to pass up money because …I’m offended by Rush Limbaugh being the owner? Who are you fooling? They’re liars.”

So, it is fine for a Russian billionaire to own a sports team, if he has the money? Sure, doesn’t  bother me. Not for Limbaugh, because he   is   allegedly racist and I mean allegedly?

Back to the head of the players union for a moment. He wants the players to speak their mind. What if several of them came  out publicly in favor of a Limbaugh bid? Would  he feel the same? Seems like  a fair question to me, a lot fairer than the rumor and speculation  about statements Limbaugh has never made.

One last comment which comes  a sports guy I really like. Michael Wilbon is the co-host with  Tony Kormheiser of ESPN’s PTI program and is  also a Washington Post columnist. He had this to say about Limbaugh after some of the initial reaction to his bid. “He is universally reviled by black people in this country and justifiably so.”  That is a comment from a guy who met Limbaugh at a Las Vegas golf tournament just as Limbaugh was beginning his  brief  ESPN tenure. One wonders if Wilbon had the same feelings then and if so, why did he not express them? Just a thought.


October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Media, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Rash Limbore is a racist. There, it’s said.

    But what baffles me is why such a free-market guy like Limbore would want to buy into a socialist organization like the NFL? All the clubs share revenue… which is… SOCIALISM!!!!!

    Comment by larrys | October 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. In the first place when does the workers of a business have the say so of who buys the business? The union should not have a say and from what you’re saying larrys you are more racist than Rush Limbaugh has ever been! A business should be like a house, a white person has to sell or rent to a black person if they have the money, therefore Rush Limbaugh should be allow to buy a NFL Team!
    Get a life larrys! 🙂

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. First off, the sale of any NFL franchise has to be approved by the other owners. (Yeah, we noticed how you didn’t want to address the “socialism” charge of Limbore joining the party!) Unions and employees are free to express their point of view when they want; it’s called the “First Amendment” if you want to look it up, GTP. Now, nothing says that anyone has to LISTEN to the union and the employees (or the general public) but the image-conscious NFL owners most likely will. And they’re not likely to risk incurring the wrath of the union just for the “privilege” of having a loudmouth like Limbore join their little fraternity.

    Nobody’s talking about stopping Rash from buying the Rams because of his race. They’re talking about stopping Rash from buying the Rams because he’s a loudmouth butthole.

    Comment by larrys | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  4. larrys: NFL franchise has to be approved by the other owners.

    I don’t see where that says approved by the players and union, or did you say that too? Oh and you forgot Al Sharpen the race bater! I don’t see where he should have a say on who buys what now do you?

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  5. Still think the opposition is largely race based.

    Comment by tarheeltalker | October 14, 2009 | Reply

  6. No, the opposition to Rush was largely idiot-based. Yes, we “libs” dislike idiots like Rash Limbore. And hallelujah, his partners agreed amd dropped him from the bid. Adios. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Comment by larrys | October 14, 2009 | Reply

    • Read Tony Dungy’s comments, did not seem opposed. As a contrast, read the comments of ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley and Colts owner Jim Irsay.

      Comment by tarheeltalker | October 15, 2009 | Reply

  7. Good riddance to who…..who is going some place? Where you going far left liberal?

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 15, 2009 | Reply

  8. Good riddance to who, GTP? To Rash Limbore, of course, He’s skulking back to his Excrement In Broadcasting studio, to spew some more racist rightwingnut claptrap.

    Comment by larrys | October 17, 2009 | Reply

  9. larrys, you would lay down across a pile of mud so your man Obama could walk on you to keep his feet from getting muddy….I feel sorry for people like that!

    Comment by goodtimepolitics | October 23, 2009 | Reply

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