WASHINGTON — Conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show Thursday that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been unfairly treated by the media because “it’s suspected that RGIII is a Republican.”
Limbaugh was discussing Griffin’s recent speaking engagement in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which Griffin advocated for the protection of the earth’s oceans.
Here’s how Limbaugh set up the topic, courtesy of News Radio 1120 KMOX in St. Louis:
“RGIII, the quarterback — don’t know for how long — of the Washington Redskins, came into the league amidst great fanfare,” he said. “First-round draft choice. Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Redskins, traded up to get RGIII, and he’s had some injuries and he just hasn’t maxed his potential.
“Well, some people think he’s bombed. And the media, it’s kind of strange, because here we have an African-American quarterback and yet the media has been kind of mean to RGIII. And one of the reasons is that it’s suspected that RGIII is a Republican.
“So in light of all of that, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was among the many celebrities — including Samuel L. Jackson — to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to advocate for the protection of the earth’s oceans.”
Limbaugh read a passage from Griffin’s speech, as well as a quote from Griffin about the experience, which reads as follows:
“To have an opportunity to go to the U.N and speak to some of the delegates — it was really cool,” he said. “Not everybody gets that experience. Anytime you can help [on] that platform, to speak on a positive matter, to help our future generation experience the same pleasantries we get to, that’s something you definitely jump at.”
Limbaugh went on to criticize environmentalists and their “apocalyptic message. He added: “We couldn’t destroy the ocean if we tried, just like we could not destroy the ozone if we tried.”
In 2003, Limbaugh had a brief run as a panelist on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” but resigned four days after sparking controversy by remarking that then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb — after an 0-2 start to the season — was undeservedly propped up as being better than he was because “the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.”
This isn’t the first time Griffin’s alleged political affiliation has been news fodder. In Dec. 2012, former ESPN staffer Rob Parker was suspended for calling Griffin a “cornball brother,” pointing to Griffin’s “white fiancée” and “all this talk about him being a Republican” as supporting evidence to his claim. Parker’s contract expired a month later and was not renewed.