Rush Limbaugh said on Thursday’s show that he refused to withdraw from the group bidding for the NFL St. Louis Rams and told Dave Checketts, “If you want me out you go public and fire me.” That’s exactly what happened Wednesday night.
In his opening monologue Thursday, Limbaugh told the story of his involvement in the NFL bid. He said Checketts, owner of the NHL St. Louis Blues, approached Limbaugh on a Florida golf course after the radio host had mentioned on the radio show that he’d love to be an NFL owner.
Checketts, whom he barely knew, and someone described as a mutual friend came to Limbaugh’s house for lunch and Checketts made his pitch for the group being formed to bid on the Rams.
Limbaugh said he asked whether his potential partners were aware of the firestorm that his involvement would entail and that Checketts assured him that it had been already taken care of and that he wouldn’t have asked Limbaugh to be involved unless it had been cleared “with people at the highest levels of the National Football League.”
After word of Limbaugh’s involvement became public, the firestorm did begin and the radio host said he was again reassured that the group wanted him as a partner. “Now remember, I did not seek them out. They sought me out,” Limbaugh said.
The firestorm escalated as Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson – described by Limbaugh as “two race hustlers” – became involved in trying to block him from NFL ownership. That led to a call Tuesday night from Checketts, Limbaugh said, saying he felt terrible about it, but asking him to withdraw. “Well, I’m not going to withdraw. “If you want me out you go public and fire me,” Limbaugh quoted himself as saying.
According to Limbaugh, the real reason that Sharpton, Jackson and DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, went after him was to gain leverage in the union’s upcoming salary negotiations with the NFL owners.
“I love the National Football League. I don’t dislike anything about it. I’m a fan. But the hatred that I am able now to mirror for the country to see is all over the place. And I tell you with absolute sincerity: I am more sad for our country than I am for myself,” Limbaugh said.
You can, of course, read his account at RushLimbaugh.com.