Limbaugh dropped from bid to purchase St. Louis Rams.

After nearly a week of controversy surrounding Rush Limbaugh’s involvement in a bid to purchase the NFL’s St. Louis Rams franchise, ESPN reports today that that the hate radio host has suffered a major defeat. Dave Checketts, chairman of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues and “point man in the Limbaugh group attempting to buy the Rams,” will drop Limbaugh from the bid:

[Checketts] realizes he must remove the controversial conservative radio host from his potential role as a minority member in the group in order to get approval from other NFL owners, the sources said.

Three-quarters of the league’s 32 owners would have to approve any sale to Limbaugh and his group. Earlier this week, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay predicted that Limbaugh’s potential bid would be met by significant opposition. Several players have also voiced their displeasure with Limbaugh’s potential ownership position, and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith, who is black, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh’s bid.

Limbaugh would not comment on Checkett’s reported move. However, on his radio show today, he remained defiant and defensive, saying criticism of his bid is “all about smearing mainstream, traditional conservatism” and accusing his critics of “spread[ing] lies.”