'The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. 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."
—Rush Limbaugh, on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Sept. 28, 2003, three days before his resignation
"We are as a society remarkably sensitive to race, and most of us in the sports industry have come to understand that Rush is new to our business and did not get that"
—Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports
"[Limbaugh]'s a racist. He might hide behind the tag of conservative, but let's be real."
—Eagles defensive end N.D. Kalu
"Do we not have anybody that understand there's way more scrubs in this game that are Anglos than there are black ones that are being pumped up? Trust me, it's not even close. I don't know what Limbaugh was thinking, but Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson didn't do us much justice, that's the one thing I was more teed off about than anything."
—Bucs defensive tackle Warren Sapp
"In my 18 years of covering the NFL I have not seen any of my media colleagues coddling McNabb or any other black quarterback Just ask Kordell Stewart. And that's the way it should be.... ESPN's Tom Jackson has taken some unfair hits this week, and I say, 'Don't blame the victim.' "
—Fox's James Brown
"There is no legitimate place in sports broadcasting for voices that seek to discredit the achievement of athletes on the basis of race."
—Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate
"I have seen replay after replay of Limbaugh's comments with my face attached, as well as that of my colleagues. Comments that made us very uncomfortable at the time, although the depth and the insensitive nature of which weren't fully felt until it seemed too late to reply. Rush Limbaugh is known for the divisive nature of his rhetoric. He creates controversy, and what he said Sunday is the same type of thing that he's said on radio for years. A player in this league who has a young son called me this week, and his son now wants to know if it's all right for blacks to play quarterback. Rush Limbaugh's comments could not have been more hurtful. He was brought in to talk football, and he broke that trust."
—Tom Jackson, cohost of Sunday NFL Countdown, Oct. 5
"[ ESPN] has been a very well-run company. You can say the same for Disney. However, some of the events of this week...are built with institutional racism. It exists; lets not hide it. Let's not make us believe the problem is a single person, because it is far from that."
—Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie
" ESPN knew what it was getting when they hired Rush Limbaugh."
—NFL vice president Joe Browne
"Black or white, if you're racist, you are ignorant Rush's statements were not only racist, they were stupid. [ McNabb] has been a Pro Bowl quarterback for three years and led this team to the NFC championship for the past two.... The media I, has guys they like, but you can't prop a guy up and make him better than he is. The public ain't going to go for that"
—TNT's Charles Barkley