BREAKING: "NFL Players Executive Director DeMaurice Smith on Saturday made a move to solidify the union against a bid by conservative talk show radio host Rush Limbaugh as part of a group that aims to purchase the St. Louis Rams."
Such was reported moments ago by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
According to Mortensen, Smith has spoken to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell strongly opposing this transaction:
In an e-mail to the union's executive committee on Saturday specifically addressing Limbaugh's bid, Smith said, "I've spoken to the Commissioner [Roger Goodell] and I understand that this ownership consideration is in the early stages. But sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred." [...]
At least seven NFL players have publicly opposed Limbaugh's interest in purchasing the Rams with Checketts. In Smith's communication Saturday with his executive committee, the union leader encouraged players to speak their mind on all matters, including Limbaugh's bid.
"I have asked our players to embrace their roles not only in the game of football but also as players and partners in the business of the NFL," said Smith. "They risk everything to play this game, they understand that risk and they live with that risk and its consequences for the rest of their life. We also know that there is an ugly part of history and we will not risk going backwards, giving up, giving in or lying down to it.
"Our men are strong and proud sons, fathers, spouses and I am proud when they stand up, understand this is their profession and speak with candor and blunt honesty about how they feel."
This is guaranteed to get more and more contentious.