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The Coming Racial Component to the NFL Concussion Storyline

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Obama.  This was at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. This is the pregame interview Scott Pelley did with Obama. He started off by saying, "There has been concern about the safety of football at all levels.  High school, college, the NFL.  If you had a son," named Trayvon, "would you let him play?"

OBAMA:  I'd have to think about it.  There is no doubt that, you know, some of the concerns that we've learned about when it comes to concussions have to give parents pause.  I feel differently about the NFL.  These are grown men, they're well compensated, they know the risks that are involved. But as we start thinking about, you know, the pipeline, Pop Warner, high school, college, I want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make the sport safer, and that means that the game's probably gonna evolve a little bit.  And for those of us who like to see a big hit and enjoy the rock 'em, sock 'em, you know, elements of the game, you know, we're probably gonna be occasionally frustrated.

RUSH:  It's the president of the United States talking about how everybody's gonna guilt trip watching the NFL.  We are gonna have to dial this game back.  Now, he didn't say it in his interview yesterday, but earlier in the week he actually used the phrase, when talking about college players and high school players, he said, "They weren't equipped to make some of these decisions."  The NFL players, they're adults, they have a better understanding. They're more able to make these decisions about whether to play or not because of the risks, the injury risks.  But these young guys, meaning government's gonna have to do it. Somebody's gonna have to make the decision for them.  They're too incompetent, incapable, which is one of the core beliefs of liberals, is you just don't know what's best for you.  And they do. 

You will not make the right decisions in your life about spending, about your safety, about your health, you name it, you won't do the right thing.  They have to do it for you.  So now Obama has put himself, injected himself in this football safety argument, and I'll tell you where this is leading up to.  This is your guilty conscience.  You fans, we're gonna have to somehow dial back these hard hits, and you may be a little disappointed, may not be as exciting for you, but that's where we're going to have to go if we're gonna keep playing this game. The president of the United States weighing in on this. 

So I have been waiting, folks, for another element to be thrown into all of this.  And we got close to having that element injected yesterday on Face the Nation and in pregame coverage of the Super Bowl.  Now, the element that I have been waiting to be interjected is race, and I have no doubt that at some point it will be.  Look at what we're dealing with now.  It's dangerous.  It's riskier than people who play it know. The people who play have been lied to by teams and doctors and experts who have not been honest with players about the risks. They haven't been honest with them about the long-term risks of repeated collisions involving the head.  They haven't been honest.  These players have been playing this game for all these years unaware how dangerous it is. 

And these players obviously have been exploited. We have rich owners, rich leagues, rich sponsors, throwing these guys out, playing a barbaric game that is ending up damaging them perhaps for the rest of their lives -- and they didn't know it, and we're gonna have to do something about it. Add to that that 75% of the people who play in the National Football League are African-American, and you've got a recipe being completed for really drastic action to be taken.

Because you throw in, "Okay, players are being exploited. They're being lied to. They are not being told the truth about the risks. It's a barbaric game! Rich owners, rich sponsors, rich leagues, rich this/that, are throwing these guys out there. And these guys are not being leveled with about what they're engaging in and how dangerous it is." Then add to this that they are minorities, and you can see where this could end up. Throw a little potential (unintentional, of course) racism into this, and then you've got the whole pot being stirred up here.

Where, of course, action would then have to be taken, because that's the element that's thrown in of who is being exploited, whose lives are at risk, and for what purpose?

The entertainment of the rich! "Bread and circuses," if you will, "the fans who want to see these dangerous hits and collisions." You can hear the average civil rights leader standing up, pointing fingers, and making accusations.
Yesterday on Face the Nation, Shannon Sharpe, former tight end for the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens, was on with Bob Schieffer. Bob Schieffer said, "Shannon, what I want to ask you is how can you make this game safe and ensure that it's safe? Football's about blocking and tackling. How do you make it safe and yet keep it football, the game that we know?"

SHARPE: You look at article that came out in the paper the other day, that the commissioner had a 61% disapproval rating. See, change is always met by resistance. You look at integration; it was met with resistance. You look at civil rights; it was met with resistance. But, as we look back, we realize that was the right thing to do. I think 10/15 years from now all the players will sit back and say, "You know what? I didn't like what the commissioner did at the time, but it was the right thing to do."

RUSH: All right, it's coming. Now we're talking about integration was met with resistance; civil rights was met with resistance. So we're getting close, getting close to the racial aspects. It's not the focus yet, and it may not end up being. Who knows? But it's sitting out there as a huge potential for whoever it is that got this ball rolling and wants to forever alter the way the game is played.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Debbie in Salt Lake City, I'm glad you called. It's great to have you here.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush! Mega dittos. I've been listening since 1990 in Sacramento, and I want to thank you for the time you take out of your busy schedule to inform us. It's very well appreciated.

RUSH: Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that. I do do this in my spare time and I appreciate you acknowledging that. Thank you, so much.

CALLER: You're welcome.

RUSH: (softly chuckling)

CALLER: How is the NFL going to survive if NFL players don't learn the game in high school and college? I mean, is the NFL going to let 20- and 30-year-olds jump in the game and expect them to play? I mean, give me a break. Obama needs to worry about doing a budget. He needs to get out of football and out of everything else.

RUSH: I think you're exactly right. I think this is absolutely absurd, the idea that Obama has gotta protect your son from football, but your daughter or your son, he'll send off to combat. He'll send 'em off to war. He's got no problem arming 'em up and sending 'em out into harm's way to fight war, fight battles, and end up in foxholes. But football...? You gotta ask yourself: "Why? What is the point?" And the point is it's control. It's a way to expand government. I know this sounds... That probably turns a lot of people off that I'm trying to persuade. They don't think there's anything wrong with a big government. I just have to find a way here to get the low-information people, because this is just absurd. The president of the United States ought not have anything to do with this.

He ought to be so busy, so occupied with things that only he and his office can deal with. Let other people deal with this football stuff. The free market will take care of it. The media's already on a path here to do damage to this game. They don't need Obama. But for Obama to weigh in on this is exactly like you said. Some might say in response to your question, "Well, he doesn't want to wipe out the game, so young kids are still going to be able to play it and come up through 'the pipeline,'" as Obama called it, "Pop Warner and junior high and college football and so forth." What Obama wants to do is take this opportunity for control over people's lives and use it.

In this case, he's seizing this opportunity under the umbrella of "human safety." Football is barbaric! He doesn't want your child not playing. He just doesn't want his son playing "as the game is currently played." So Obama -- who's already an expert in health care, an expert in retail, an expert in energy, an expert in disaster cleanup -- we're now learning is an expert in professional sports administration! This guy's got more talent in his little finger than anybody ever knew. He's got more experience than anyone. Look at all the things this guy is THE expert at! He's the expert, as I say, in health care. He's the expert in how to get the economy growing. He's the expert at creating jobs.

Well, he's who everybody turns to for all this. He's gotta be the expert! And now, low and behold -- surprise, surprise -- Barack Obama is the expert in football safety! So Obama is gonna seize this opportunity to utilize power. To what end is irrelevant. The stated objective is going to be to make football safer by somehow reducing the number of concussions. One of the things that we could do to reduce the number of concussions is to change the way the game is played so that we have rules and regulations involving less use of the head.

Maybe have rules where you can't tackle as hard and you can't be as mean when you tackle. Maybe you can only tackle with one hand. (interruption) Well, we leave that to Obama. "How do we calculate and measure meanness?" That's why we have to leave this up to Obama. Nobody else has been able to figure that out. He obviously has the answer. So we make people play it in a less mean way and a less aggressive way. We got the fans to be less bloodthirsty so that the game is changed and therefore the game is safer, see? Obama will spearhead the effort and assign people to do it, and that's the opportunity here.

END TRANSCRIPT

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