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Limbaugh Says Politicized NFL Protesting Its Way Out of Fans’ Lives

As politics transforms the National Football League into something beyond recognition, talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Monday held a wake of sorts for the sport he long loved.

Relating his mourning over the loss of what he once enjoyed, Limbaugh said Sunday was a watershed event in the life of a former NFL fan.

“I did not watch the National Football League yesterday, and it was the first time in 45 years that I made an active decision not to watch, including my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was not a decision made in anger. It was genuine sadness,” he said.

Limbaugh said he did not watch because he couldn’t bear to see what he knew would be the last act of drama that started Friday when President Trump denounced players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

“I was not sad after Friday night when the president made his comments,” Limbaugh said. “And I had no doubt afterward what the reaction was going to be and I had no doubt where public opinion was gonna fall. And I had no doubt how people in the NFL from players to the commissioner to media people were gonna get it wrong, and they have, and they did.”

Sports coverage “became politicized,” Limbaugh said.

“It simply just became politicized. And the people politicizing it, since we’re talking about politics, the people that politicized it are people on the left. And when that happens, things change. It’s just over,” he said.

Limbaugh shared the catalyst for his decision not to watch his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

“Why did I not watch the Steelers? Well, when I found out that the coach said a word I’m having trouble here relating. He said, ‘I need to protect my players.’”

“What? Protect your players from what? I mean, the players are who’s doing all this. What?” Limbaugh said. “So protecting players is defined by keeping them in the locker room so that they don’t have to decide. The whole notion of protecting the players just mind-boggles me, folks. Are we talking about children here? In this case, no. We’re talking about the whole reason this is happening. This all started before Donald Trump.”

Limbaugh said the protests are designed to be media vignettes, not to be real protests against America’s racial divide.

He also said the kneeling controversy is going to hurt the NFL.

“You simply cannot have a business that allows itself to be used to promote ‘social justice’ when that promotion of social justice requires displays of anti-Americanism, however you want to define it,” he said.

Limbaugh said the NFL is no longer about football.

“There is no way that business is going to grow and prosper. No matter how correct the protest might be, no matter how justified it might be, that is not the place for it. It is not why people spend money watching it, patronizing it, purchasing anything to do with it. And that makes me sad. I don’t want the NFL to go away. I don’t want the NFL to become less than what it was. But it already is. You can’t watch the NFL anymore and just watch football,” he said.