Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: “Smokers and pro football players have something in common.” What do you think it is? This is an AP story from yesterday. “Smokers and pro football players have something in common: They engage in risky behavior that can be potentially harmful to their health over time. And to hear some lawyers tell it, the National Football League is the equivalent of Big Tobacco.”

I, as you know, predicted this, but I am way off in the number of years I thought this was gonna take. I thought we’d be looking at 10, 15 years down the road before people started getting serious about trying to poison people’s minds about football and being serious about banning it. But I’m telling you, we are on the road. When the NFL is equal to Big Tobacco, when the NFL is Joe Camel, I hope the people in the NFL have an understanding of what faces them. I hope they know what’s ahead of them.

Just like some people could not wrap their arms around what Obamacare really means for the future of this country. I can see the NFL sitting there, it is the most popular sport. Its off season is more popular than a lot of sports when they’re playing in their regular seasons. But this off season has been really odd. You have the bounty situation with the Saints and year-long suspensions for coaches and players, lifetime suspension for one coach. Most of the stuff happening in the League appears to be happening in negotiation rooms or courtrooms. The game is portrayed as something deadly that players are risking their lives every time they put on the uniform to take the field. As an ardent football fan, this is different. And now the NFL compared to Big Tobacco.

I know a lot of people don’t look at things as ideologically as I do, which is a problem for them. But if you think going after Big Tobacco was a health related thing, if you think the people that are going after Big Tobacco are motivated by your health and keeping you safe, you are full of it. It had nothing to do with your health. These people couldn’t care less about your health. They couldn’t care less whether you get cancer. This was all about what it always is about. Another avenue, another springboard for more liberal control, big government, and a small group of people being able to dictate behavior for everybody else. And it was a money opportunity. It was an opportunity for a bunch of lawyers and others to score huge amounts of money off of Big Tobacco. It was a shakedown. And the proof of it, throughout the whole process nobody once suggested banning the product.

If they really cared, if they really thought tobacco’s a killer, if they really believed that, if they really were interested in your health, they’d make that product illegal. They would ban it under their concerns for your health. But there’s no way anybody involved is ever gonna ban that product because there’s too much money to be made off of it. Probably the same thing with the NFL. But there are going to be people — I can picture them. I know what they look like. I know where they live. I know what kind of people are gonna start running around suggesting it be banned, and it’ll be done on the basis of safety for the players, and there will be a racial component that’ll be introduced into it at some point. Well, you can’t miss this one. What, 75% of the players are African-American. This is made to order. Wait ’til somebody tells Al Sharpton the opportunity he’s missing here. You got slavery in America disguised as the NFL.

“What do you mean, Rush, slavery?” Well, look at who’s getting injured, look who’s risking their lives. Yeah, they’re being paid a lot of money. It doesn’t matter. The vast majority of people playing this game are nothing more than gladiators on Sunday afternoon to keep the rich entertained. It’s gonna happen like that. You know it and I know it. A $206 billion tobacco settlement, supposed to be shared among the states, supposed to go to education programs, all of that money. Where’s all that tobacco lawsuit money gone? You can still buy cigarettes. I’ll tell you how convoluted it’s gotten, you can still buy ’em, but you can’t smoke ’em. Not legally anywhere. They haven’t banned the product. They are funding children’s health care programs with the sale of tobacco products. At some point if you can’t smoke the product but you can buy it… it’s convoluted. And now the National Football League is the equivalent of Big Tobacco.

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