Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the St. Louis Rams. Al Sharpton is leading the crusade against Limbaugh’s efforts, arguing that Limbaugh is unfit to own a sports franchise because he is a racist and an addict; clearly an irresponsible role model for young Americans. While the drug possession charges are general knowledge, the racist argument is yet to be determined.
Common sense dictates that Limbaugh is a staunch conservative and therefor a racist and tainted with prejudice. But where are the facts?
Notwithstanding lack of evidence, is Rush Limbaugh entitled to his opinion? Or is his money no longer good?
This is an important ethical question for our generation to answer. Is it true that 'hate speech' is the antithesis of democratic free-speech and must be censored? If Limbaugh is a racist, should he be bared from participation in public radio, in sports, in business? Is Limbaugh’s money no good or is Limbaugh, in a free society, free to both speak and spend his money as he pleases? Is the NFL unable to stop him?
This discussion might be better framed as good or bad marketing: Does the NFL as a publicly traded organization have the freedom to pick and choose the partners it affiliates with?
David Sirota wrote in Huffington Post: Forget the double standard of Rush Limbaugh, a free marketeer, now decrying as outrageous the NFL corporation's logical business decision to protect its brand from his taint.
Sirota dismisses a good point. The St. Lewis Rams may, as a PR strategy, choose to turn down Limbaugh's offer to buy the franchise. But this decision should come from the Rams and the strategic decision will rest in the symbiosis of brands, weather or Limbaugh’s values are acceptable to the St. Louis Rams and their fans. Of course, we might safely assume that the target audience, Rams fans, are also Limbaugh fans. So.... it would make no sense to stop Limbaugh.
Freedom Watch hosts an interesting conversation: