Was Rush Limbaugh right to resign from ESPN?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Rush Limbaugh, conservative pundit and commentator on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown", recently resigned from ESPN amid controversy over his remarks on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Limbaugh said McNabb was an overrated player and attributed McNabb's notoriety to a media push in favor of black quarterbacks: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL," he said. "I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there's a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." What do you think? Was Limbaugh right to resign after the outcry over his remarks? Or was he unfairly forced out?

Please limit your response to 80 words or less. The best responses representing the balance of opinions expressed will be posted on TIME.com throughout the week.

Some of your responses:

Why stop with ESPN, he should resign as radio host. It's sad to see in the U.S. that so many people listen to a person with that type of perspective and support his race-based opinions. Let's move forward in this nation and not backward to the early 1900's.
Michael Allen
Frederick, Md.

From the responses I have read, it seems that the direction of the more polarized answers depends on whether the respondent either agrees or disagrees with Limbaugh's daily ideological ravings. The fact is, however, if this were an isolated incident, as it was with Howard Cosell, then no, he should not be "forced" to resign. But when he plays "Movin' On Up" — the theme from "The Jeffersons" — whenever speaking about Carol Moseley Braun on his radio show, it's clear there is something much deeper, darker and more insidious going on than innocent observation.
Michael Lombardi
Brooklyn, N.Y.

No, Rush should not have resigned. Rush is a member of the media. ESPN is a media outlet. He was commenting on how the MEDIA portrays and promotes certain athletes, similar to the way we hear of an East Coast bias in college football rankings. McNabb is a good QB, but the Eagles' defense does carry that team.
James Crawford
Colorado Springs, Colo.

The coach of each NFL team is expected to produce a winner. I doubt if any of them is considering the wishes of the media when choosing their starting quarterback. Rush was wrong on that count but he shouldn't have to resign as a result of that.
Excell Oliver
Oakland, Calif.

Rush Limbaugh has the right to choose his battles as he sees fit. Considering the fact that Jim Brown can call (Ohio State Athletic Director) Andy Geiger a "slave master" and no one in the media even blinks an eye, I don't blame Rush for declining to defend his opinions.
Gregg D. Colahan
Columbus, Ohio

Yes. Please remember that it was his decision to resign. It was his choice and his alone, no one else forced him to do it. If he had the courage of his convictions he would have stayed. Instead he goes to the NAB conference and makes a speech blaming others for losing his job. So much for "rugged individualism". I can't wait to hear how he blames the "liberal media" for his drug problem.
Tim Dunne
Los Angeles, Calif.

I don't think he should have resigned, but I'm damn glad he did. I'd like to know how many conservatives would like to listen to James Carville every Sunday, talking about how St. Louis is going all the way this year. Like most Americans, I like my football ideology-free. Why spoil a good Sunday? Besides, from what I could see, he didn't know the game that well.
Charles Jordan
Carson City, Ariz.

No, he was unfairly targeted and denied his First Amendment rights. It is incredulous and very disturbing how politically correct people must sound. It's too bad he wasn't or couldn't stand his ground for his (and ours) First Amendment rights.
Rebecca Kalima
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Absolutely NOT. If the boys on the other side of the room didn't like what Rush said, they should have confronted him at the time, face to face, like men. What phony excuses they had the following Sunday. Rush doesn't need them and neither do I. Click.
Charles Donovan
Oneida, N.Y.

No, I don't think he should have resigned but he certainly had no business bringing race into his argument. I'm sorry Rush, but I can't think of any instances where black athletes got credit for greatness that they didn't achive. All the black QBs are there because they are better than their competition, period. The real question is why did it take until the 21st century for them to finally be taken seriously at the quarterback position? I just don't think Mr. Limbaugh thought the matter through.
Allan Lewis
Dunwoody, Ga.

The only thing that Rush proved is that he knows little about football. Donovan McNabb is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, as are Mike Vick and Daunte Culpepper. The media doesn't have to be "desirous" to make the young men the stars that they are.
Tom Rajan
Houston, Texas

Rush's comments were not racist. He spoke the truth about the media's position on "black" players and coaches. The media touted "Art Shell, first black NFL Head Coach", "Randall Cunningham, black quarterback", "there are 7 black quarterbacks in the NFL." The list goes on. Rush showed his consideration to the cast members by resigning. However, their spineless comments on the following Sunday just show their hypocrisy. No wonder their ratings are low.
Robyn Phillips
Fallbrooks, Calif.

No. The response to his comments illustrates the inability of any white person in this country to make a comment regarding race and still have a job the next morning. His comment was right on the mark and did not imply any racism.
Jeff Baur
Moosup, Conn.

I think Rush was unfairly forced out. ESPN hired him to be Rush, and guess what? They got him. Rush also has a right to freedom of speech. If the people didn't like what they heard, the ratings would have dropped. Should have left it to that.
Guy Shewmaker
Leander, Texas

The fact that Donovan McNabb is black has nothing to do with his ability as a player. Black is the color of his skin. Rush Limbaugh was stupid to bring the issue of race into question when discussing a player's ability. Donovan McNabb is a great player. Period. Rush had no choice but to resign. He's a fraud out of school discussing football. He should schtick to politics.
Mike LaNoue

Whether or not Rush was right in his opinions (which were just that, since there was little to no foundation for his assertions, although the accuracy could be argued either way), what made his remarks especially objectionable was the forum he used to offer them. I don't think there would've been a controversy had he made the comments on his radio show. But Sunday mornings, viewers don't tune into "NFL Countdown" to hear commentary on heated political issues.
David Berkson
Champaign, Ill.

Rush Limbaugh should never have been on "Sunday NFL Countdown". In fact, after watching ESPN since its beginning I had quit watching the ESPN Sunday morning show completely because of the appearance of such an inappropriate person in the otherwise well-liked panel. Thank goodness, I can enjoy the program again.
Darlia Price

Last Week's Question: Can George W. Bush be beaten in 2004?