RUSH: Okay, here is Jane in Portland, Oregon. Jane, I’m glad you waited. You’re next. It’s great to have you here. Hello.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Thank you very much. I absolutely had to get on as soon as possible because as the wife of a retired NFL football player — I’m married to Jon Arnett, who spent 10 years in the NFL — we are, as wives, in this community —
RUSH: Wait, wait. Did you say Arnett or Arness?
CALLER: Arnett. Jon Arnett. Played for USC, the Rams and the Bears?
RUSH: Right, right, right, right. Arnett.
CALLER: Right. In fact before I let you off the phone or you let me off the phone, I’d love it if you’d say hello to him. He’s been listening to you since you were in Sacramento.
RUSH: Oh, cool!
CALLER: Yeah. He just loves you. Every morning, every morning. I am a bit of an activist with the retired players community. In fact — and I don’t want to take the conversation in this direction, although it fits in — I was a part of some of the activism to draw attention to the issues of concussions. I will say that it got completely out of hand and taken over by people with other agendas, and you’ve alluded to it.
Not just alluded, you’ve directly spoken about it many times. In regards to the Ray Rice issue and Adrian Peterson, I don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but no one is really talking to those of us who actually live these lives of professional football players. Although my husband is retired, we live in this community and with this culture. People aren’t really talking to us.
I’ve noticed a few shows have brought on some of the younger wives who have made statements like, “Well, I would stand by my man, as horrible as it is,” and, “We don’t know Ray to be violent. We don’t know Adrian to be violent. I would stick with him.” Those conversations are not sought out by the media. Obviously there is an agenda here to destroy football, to destroy the NFL, in our opinion.
It’s outrageous and infuriating to those of us who are part of this family. Have you noticed that when someone does something atrocious or horrible in the Hollywood community, that person is singled out, they’re dragged over the coals, and then they’re redeemed and forgiven and they go back to having their career? No one goes after Hollywood as a whole.
No one goes after all of the entertainers, all of the television stars or what have you, because of the transgressions of one person. In fact, we use that as a vehicle for sensationalism, and — I’m gonna repeat myself — for redemption and forgiveness. But not here. They want to take away a man’s livelihood. I am not sitting in judgment of Ray Rice and his wife. I don’t know them. I don’t condone domestic violence. It’s something I’ve actually worked as a volunteer to prevent.
RUSH: Jane, I need to interrupt you for a question because my time is dwindling. Who has hijacked the concussion… I’ll call it a “movement” for the sake of the question. Who’s hijacked it?
CALLER: Okay. Well, to be very general in a statement, it’s people who don’t like the NFL and people who don’t like football. It isn’t people from within the organization. We, as retired football player families, never said that football was dangerous in the sense that it needed to be discontinued and banned. We simply talked about the fact that there needed to be care given to those with concussions, which seemed to be a very common occurrence. And, quite frankly, I think the NFL may have even not necessarily managed their reaction entirely properly. But I’m just one person. My attitude is, if you’re going to go after football and decimate football because of concussions, then we need to stop children from playing soccer.
RUSH: Exactly right! Exactly right. It’s also a great point that you made, that they’re not seeking out you who have lived this life in the NFL for any comment on this.
RUSH: They’re seeking all these outside psychiatric experts and political experts to analyze it. Put Jon on the phone real quick because I have to make tracks here and I want to say hi.
CALLER: Absolutely. I’ll let you go, but I have to tell you we wives have banded together and we’ve got a little blog talk thing called Real Football Wives, and we’re gonna start speaking out. We’re pretty feeble in our organization, but we’re sick and tired of this.
RUSH: Well, good for you! Amen.
CALLER: Thank you.
RUSH: I think that’s fabulous.
CALLER: Here’s Jon. Hold on.
RUSH: All right.
CALLER: Rush! (chuckling) How are you?
RUSH: (laughs) Jon! I’m great, Jon. It’s a pleasure to speak to you.
CALLER: Well, you know my buddies. You know the Brett boys, don’t you? You know, when I lived in Manhattan Beach, we spent a lot of time together. They spoke very highly of you, and I listen to you every day, Rush.
RUSH: Well, I appreciate it. Jon, it’s mutual. People I know who know you have said the same thing. It’s my hearing. I wanted to make sure it was “Arnett” not “Arness” that I was hearing, ’cause I’ve heard both names.
CALLER: Yeah, well, I’m just a little bit older. I don’t know that I’m any wiser, but I’m a little bit older.
RUSH: (laughing) I’m sure you’re both.
RUSH: Anyway, it’s great to talk to you. It really is. What a way to finish the program. And your wife is fabulous. I can tell, can just sense that in talking about this. I mean, she is loyal and she is obviously committed to the truth about this. I mean, it’s great. How many people do you encounter at the moment who are acting proud of the NFL rather than embarrassed of it or thinking excuses have to be made for it? So, anyway, that’s great.
So Jane and Jon, thanks much for the call. I appreciate it.