Thursday, October 2, 2003
Updated: October 3, 5:32 PM ET
Players say Rush's comments off-base
PHILADELPHIA -- Some NFL players were still upset Thursday
at last weekend's comments about Donovan McNabb that caused
conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh to resign from ESPN.
On "Sunday NFL Countdown," Limbaugh said the Philadelphia
Eagles quarterback was overrated because the media wanted to see a
black quarterback succeed.
"You can have your opinion, but there are certain things that
are sensitive that you have to adhere to and certain lines that you
don't cross," Carolina Panthers quarterback Rodney Peete said.
"And I think he definitely crossed that line with that particular
As one of McNabb's closest friends, Cleveland Browns wide
receiver Kevin Johnson offered another view.
"He's disappointed," said Johnson, a teammate of McNabb's at
Syracuse. "He has done everything right as a player. He's been a
perfect role model. He has done everything that you would ask him
to do as an NFL quarterback."
Limbaugh resigned from the show Wednesday night.
Rev. Jesse Jackson told The Associated Press on Thursday that
Limbaugh's remarks were "a painful insult."
"It is not true and it is demeaning to the black athlete,"
Jackson said in a phone interview from California. "It is wrong to
suggest that the hard work of black coaches and black quarterbacks
are breaking in by the gratuity of the media."
In 2000 Tennessee's Steve McNair became the second black
quarterback to start a Super Bowl.
He said the fans always treated him fairly and he was surprised
the issue of race has resurfaced.
"Until this episode, I thought it was gone," he said.
"Evidently, there will always be a small portion out there. That's
just people's opinion and how people look at different things."
Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said Limbaugh's opinion
doesn't "represent how the majority -- the high majority" of
people involved in the game for a long time think.
"I know it doesn't represent anything near what I think," he
Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier was far from agreeing
with the overrated part of Limbaugh's opinion.
"They didn't give him all that money because he's an average
quarterback," Spurrier said. "He's one of the best in the
Many Redskins players took issue with both the premise and
conclusion of Limbaugh's statement. They felt McNabb is indeed
worth all the attention he gets, and they wondered what on earth
race has to do with it.
"Who's Rush Limbaugh to make a statement like that?"
linebacker LaVar Arrington said. "He needs to stay in his area of
expertise because clearly he's out it. That's one of the most
asinine comments a person can make. It shows his IQ level in