Rush Limbaugh knows a thing or two about about facing professional fallout from ESPN.
In 2003, the conservative shock jock resigned from his position as an NFL analyst at the sports media empire after his racially charged remarks about black quarterback Donovan McNabb (who is now retired) ignited a national firestorm.
So perhaps Limbaugh was applying his own personal experience with ESPN when he argued on Wednesday that punishment awaits Mike Ditka, the outspoken former NFL player and coach who serves as a commentator at ESPN.
Ditka went off on critics of the Washington Redskins’ name during a recent interview.
“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said. “It’s so much horse shit it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin. What are you going to call them, a Proudskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.”
Limbaugh, of course, aligns with Ditka on the matter. After the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six of the Redskins’ trademark registrations in June, the radio host blamed the move on the Obama “regime.”
And now Limbaugh apparently believes ESPN’s regime is coming for Ditka.
“Well, the Hall of Fame has a very outspoken member by the name of Mike Ditka who still works at ESPN but probably not for long,” Limbaugh said Wednesday before playing audio of the Super Bowl-winning coach’s remarks.
Limbaugh closed the segment by asserting that Ditka, at a minimum, faces a suspension.
“Anyway, he works at ESPN, but I don’t know. … I mean once this gets out, he’s at least gotta be suspended,” he said.
A spokesperson for ESPN was not immediately available to respond to TPM’s request for comment.
Limbaugh resigned from ESPN in 2003, days after he said on-air that the league and members of the media hyped McNabb because of his race.
“I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,” Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve.”