Wednesday, October 1, 2003
McNabb responds to Limbaugh's racially sensitive comments
PHILADELPHIA - Donovan McNabb answered a low blow by
taking the high road.
The Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback spoke Wednesday about the
racially sensitive comments ESPN analyst Rush Limbaugh made
during the network's pregame show Sunday.
A conservative radio talk show host in his first year with ESPN,
Limbaugh said the hype surrounding McNabb may come from the NFL
and media wanting a black quarterback to do well rather than
his performance on the field.
On his radio show Wednesday, Limbaugh defended his comments,
claiming the ensuing media crush proves he was right.
McNabb didn't criticize Limbaugh.
"It's somewhat shocking to hear that on national TV from him,"
said McNabb, who has earned three consecutive Pro Bowl berths.
"It's nothing that I can sit here and say it's going to affect
McNabb was more upset that ESPN's other analysts didn't oppose
Limbaugh. Also on the panel were former NFL players Michael
Irvin and Tom Jackson, who are black, and Steve Young.
"I'm not pinpointing anyone," McNabb said. "I'm a Michael Irvin
fan, Steve Young fan and Tom Jackson. But somebody should have
said something to the race issue."
Limbaugh's claims may have been sparked by the Eagles' slow
start this season. Before Sunday's 23-13 win in Buffalo, they
lost to Tampa Bay and New England by a combined 48-10.
After the losses, McNabb was the lowest-rated quarterback in the
league. But in his first four NFL seasons, he led the Eagles
to a pair of NFC championship games. Among active quarterbacks
with at least 45 starts, he was third with a .646 winning
"I'm a football player and that was my dream," he said. "My
dream was to play pro football in the NFL. I'm going to
continue to fulfill my dream."
McNabb said his dream is "to become a great human being, a
person that people can rely on and trust and a good football
player." He'd also like people to see him as a quarterback, not
a "black quarterback."
"It's something that I've been going through since I was young,
through high school, through college and through the NFL," he
said. "You figure that it would have been over by now."