Rushing to Pull the Race Card

A few weeks before checking himself into a rehabilitation center to deal with his drug addiction, conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh did what he does best: talk a lot about something of which he knows a little. With an expert’s cockiness belied by his obviously amateur status, Limbaugh described Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb as an overrated quarterback, lavished with undue credit by a politically correct media desperate to see a black quarterback succeed. Though other analysts at the time had also called McNabb overrated (and for those who bothered to do the analysis at the time, he wasn’t), Limbaugh stood out for jumping to conclusions in a way that made it seem like he in fact was the one desperate for McNabb’s race to be a factor. Of course McNabb deftly stepped out of the pocket of controversy and Limbaugh resigned before he got sacked.

Leading his team to the Super Bowl this year, McNabb is aware that his race is still an issue but in a different way. McNabb sees himself as a role model for all the young children out there intent on defying the odds and the stereotypes that might tell them they are not smart enough, good enough, or any of the other critiques McNabb (and many other black quarterbacks) has heard throughout his career. There is no doubt that McNabb is a class act, both on and off the field.

And Limbaugh…well, not surprisingly, he has yet to retract his statements but even he’s trying to get on the McNabb bandwagon.