Skip to main content

Limbaugh Counted Out of NFL Countdown

Rush Limbaugh has resigned from ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown
pregame show due to fallout from his controversial comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

On this past Sunday’s show, the conservative talk-show host said McNabb wasn't as good as the media perceived him to be, adding, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL [National Football League]. 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."

"My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated," Limbaugh said in a prepared statement issued late Wednesday night. "I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love Sunday NFL Countdown
and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it."

George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, issued the following response: "We accept his resignation and regret the circumstances surrounding this. We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously."

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus condemned Limbaugh’s controversial comments Wednesday. U.S. Rep. and CBC chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) dubbed the statements "outrageous and offensive."

In a prepared statement, Cummings said Limbaugh's remarks "have no place in American society and I would hope that he would not hide behind the First Amendment to defend such insensitive comments. People like Rush Limbaugh are a constant reminder that we still have a long way to go in dealing with race in America."

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.