RUSH: I want you to grab audio sound bite 28. It doesn’t quite dovetail exactly with what I’ve been talking about, but I can make it relate. It’s the commissioner of the National Football League when he was on a Washington sports radio station, and then of course the subject of the Washington Redskins came up. His answer typifies how we are proceeding in this country today in ways that infringe upon and limit liberty and show how easy it is to do it.
I’m not dumping on the commissioner. He just happens to be in a sound bite here today that makes the point, the point that I have made over and over again and that I’ve trying to be pervasive about. Here comes the commissioner making the point. Let’s take a look at the Redskins for just a second. Out of the blue now, the Redskins is an offensive name. It’s been bubbling up underneath the surface for a number of years. It’s never really been taken seriously, but it’s been out there, because it’s one of the ways the left can use to divide people and get what they want.
This year it has come to life like it has never come to life before. And automatically the media, sports media glommed onto it, and it’s now the cause celebre of the National Football League outside of concussions. So the commissioner was asked a question. “The owner, Dan SnyderÂ’s come out and said that he will never change the name of the Redskins. Is that his decision to make alone…?” Now, stop and think just the question. He is the owner. “Is it his decision to make alone…?” asked the sports journalist on the radio.
Meaning: “Is it his decision to make alone? Can you do something about it, ’cause this guy’s obviously a racist bigot! Isn’t there something you can do about it? ‘Cause we don’t like the fact that he has control of the name of the team.” The full question: “Is that his decision to make alone or do you ever foresee a situation where the league may have any influence in an issue of that magnitude?” The Redskins sell out every week. NFL TV ratings are sky-high. Redskins jerseys, all that stuff, licensed merchandise, apparently sells through the roof.
Who is bothered by this?
We love to talk about majorities versus minorities. They can cram nearly 100,000 people in that stadium, and every time they have a game, it’s full. Who’s offended? I’m common sense. This is mayor of Realville stuff here. This is a manufactured controversy, manufactured by the left, and they want the government to come in or a powerful authority to come in and tell this individual owner what he can’t or can do, unwittingly supporting the loss of liberty and freedom. Now, if people have a problem with the name of the team, fine. Let the NFL deal with it within its own business framework.
Why does the government have to get involved?
Anyway, I want you to hear the commissioner’s answer to this question.
GOODELL: I grew up in Washington. The Colts were my team early on, and then I became a Redskins fan. I know the team name is part of their history and tradition, and that’s something that’s important to the Redskins fans, and I think what we have to do, though, is we have to listen. If one person’s offended, we have to listen.
RUSH: “If one person is offended, we have to listen.” Let me personalize this. I wouldn’t be on the air if that were the guiding concept. One person’s offended? We have to listen? What he means is, he’s buying time here. He’s trying to give these people what they want, but if one person’s offended out of however many millions of fans — one person — we have to listen. Do you realize the power that’s being transferred to one person simply because they’re offended? Who isn’t offended?
What if I said the term “Cowboys” offends me, ’cause of what the Indians did to ’em in a bunch of westerns I saw once when I was a kid?
RUSH: Okay, we go back to the phones to Michael in Los Angeles. This is great to have you on the program, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hey, thanks a lot. I’m listening to your comments on the Washington Redskins. A lot of people don’t realize how much power the league wields. You know, there was a deal back in the nineties where Jerry Jones tried to strike a deal with Pepsi and the NFL said, “No, Coke is our official drink, so you will not serve Pepsi in your stadium.”
RUSH: That’s true, and Jones was trying to strike a uniform deal with Nike that year, and they didn’t have the license. You’re right. The league does control certain things that they apply to every team in a uniform way. They’ve even got a uniform code. They’ve got a uniform guy demanding that shirttails be tucked in and socks are the right height. It’s really pretty comprehensive control. You’re right.
CALLER: A team can’t even change their uniform without appealing to the league and getting permission to wear any other uniform, like a throwback, that the league doesn’t want them to.
RUSH: Well, that’s true, too. Any uniform change has to be submitted a year or two in advance so that they don’t get stuck with a bunch of outdated stuff. That has to be approved. Even the third jersey, the alternate jersey which is not black for most teams. Oh, you’re right. So you’re thinking here that if the league wants to, they will have the ability to pressure Dan Snyder to the change the name of his team?
CALLER: They’ll force him to do it if there’s enough public pressure. If there’s enough political correctness, they’ll definitely force him to because that’s the way the league is. They have the heavy hammer. They’ll put the thumb down and say, “You’ll change it.”
RUSH: How would that manifest itself? ‘Cause Schneider wouldn’t want to do it. He really doesn’t, and there not a whole lot of people with the Redskins who do. It’s as much a part of the tradition the NFL as any other team that’s been in the league as long as the Redskins have.
CALLER: I just don’t think the owners have that much power. It’s a good old boys club. They’ll go along with the flow. That’s why Al Davis of the Raiders for years was always the antithesis of the league. He wanted to do things, and he never voted with them, and that’s why the league always frowned upon him.
RUSH: He was the real maverick.
RUSH: He’d move his team without league permission He moved to LA, forced it.
CALLER: I mean, if a player even wants to wear another number — like Otto Graham, number 60 — he can’t do it if the league says no.
RUSH: Well, in fact, when Johnny Unitas died, Peyton Manning asked to wear Unitas-style high-top shoes in the next game, and the league refused permission.
CALLER: Yeah, and I think when Jack Del Rio was coach of Jacksonville, he wore the suit for the first time on the sidelines, and he had to ask permission from the league.
RUSH: It was turned down. I think it was Mike Nolan of the 49ers that was refused permission to wear a suit. He had to wear licensed merchandise.
CALLER: That kind of power is just crazy. You know, that’s the kind of stuff… If I were a league owner, I’d want to wear whatever I wanted to wear. Like in the old days, the Rams used to wear those old blue-and-white hats and they were all scuffed. You’ll never see a game where a player will come out with a stuffed hat because they have to have new, approved uniforms every week.
RUSH: Yeah. That’s pretty much true. It remains to be seen if a name change happens. In this case, what’s the league think? Is it Goodell alone? Is it an owner’s meeting where the owners vote and try to pressure Snyder? Is it they get him in a room and say, “Look, you’re killing us, Dan. It’s political correctness, Dan. We can’t stand for this league to be called racist, Dan. You gotta help us out here.”
CALLER: Yeah. In fact, the last time the league tried to do that, Al Davis abstained and they lost a big amount of money because the Raiders moved to LA.
RUSH: Well, Michael here is right. He’s right. Look, when Goodell says, “If one person is offended, we have to listen,” he is sending a message to Snyder, the owner of the Redskins. Quick, Snerdley, in ten seconds: Does the name survive or is it gonna get changed? (interruption) Redskins survives, according to Snerdley.
RUSH: I think in terms of the Redskins and whether the name survives, the way it’s going it’s going to depend on whatever Vladimir Putin wants.
RUSH: You know, speaking of name changes, I have something I’ll bet you didn’t know. Well, some of you seasoned citizens out there may remember this. After the Russian Revolution, they were known as “the reds,” just like the Red Chinese before the term ChiCom was coined. (Ahem.)
When the term “reds” became associated with the communists, pressure was brought to bear on the ownership of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League to change their name, because nobody wanted to be associated with communists. The owner of the Cincinnati Reds said, “We had the name before the Russkies. Let them change their name.” Did you know that? I know you didn’t know that.
That’s why I was telling you.
It’s a fascinating little bit of little trivia.