Congressman Rips NFL Commissioner Over Why Rush Can't Own a Team But Fergie and J-Lo Can

October 28th, 2009 4:54 PM

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Limbaugh responds to today's hearing.

During Wednesday's Congressional hearing about head injuries in football, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) ripped NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the decision to not allow conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh to own a team when pop artists Fergie and Jennifer Lopez do.

As NewsBusters reported on October 17, Fergie and J-Lo are part owners of the Miami Dolphins despite having incidents in their respective pasts that are far more offensive than anything Limbaugh was accused of.

With this obvious hypocrisy in mind, King gave Goodell quite a tongue-lashing (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):

I would ask Commissioner Goodell this question: Your position on owners having the right image, I would direct it to your statement on the 13th of October where you said, "I think it's divisive comments are they not what the NFL is all about. I would not want to see those kinds of comments from people who are in responsible positions within the NFL. No, absolutely not."

Now, I take you as a man of your word, but I would point out you have a couple of owners that have performed lyrics in songs that are far more offensive. In fact I don't think that anything Rush Limbaugh said was offensive.

But, with Fergie and with J.Lo, they have between the two of them, alleged that the CIA are terrorists and liars, they've promoted sexual abuse of women, they've used the N-word, verbal pornography, recreational drug use, etc., and they are owners of the Dolphins. And it's also ironic that Fergie was approved as an owner on the very day that you made your statement against Rush Limbaugh.

King went on to point out to the Commissioner that the comments Limbaugh made about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb a few years ago were actually critical of the media and not McNabb.

King continued:

So, if you're concerned about this, Mr. Goodell, then I'd ask you are you prepared to level the same charges against Fergie and J-Lo, or are you prepared to apologize to Rush Limbaugh today?

Not surprisingly, Goodell had no worthwhile response for the Congressman. Quite the contrary, he told King, "I'm not shining any kind of a light on Rush Limbaugh here. I'm not an expert on his, on all of his quotes."

Then how did he conclude Limbaugh didn't warrant ownership? On exactly what did he base his decision that Limbaugh had made "divisive comments?"

As no logical answer appeared forthcoming, King said he would provide Goodell with details about Fergie and J-Lo's offensive lyrics, and asked the Commissioner to come back and address them.

Stay tuned.

*****Update: This is what Limbaugh posted at his website concerning this hearing...

Of course, Goodell's a total weasel. He had no answer about the Dolphins' owners so wouldn't even address the question, and he got on his high horse about how McNabb is a fine player and a fine person and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin, when I (a) never said he was not a fine person; (b) never said he was a bad QB -- just that he was overrated (which no one should deny); and (c) said the MEDIA was obsessed with the color of his skin (which is also undeniable), not that I was. -- Rush Limbaugh

Full trancript of King's grilling of Goodell available here.