Limbaugh and the ‘Chickification’ of the NFL

As if the Ray Rice situation wasn’t bad enough, now we have Rush Limbaugh complaining that all this concern over NFL players beating up women is leading to the “chickification” of the NFL. Because apparently it’s terribly emasculating to men not to be allowed to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends.

Addressing NFL broadcaster James Brown’s commentary Thursday night challenging “the NFL community and all men” to do something about domestic violence, Rush Limbaugh lamented that NFL executives and sports journalists are “chickifying” football.

On Friday’s broadcast, recorded by Media Matters for America, Limbaugh called concerns over the abuse of women by NFL players, “… a race to see who can be the most politically correct feminist guy.”

“This is crazy. We’re feminizing this game, and its a man’s game, ” Limbaugh said. “If we keep feminizing this game, we’re going to ruin it. Keep chickifying this game, we’re going to ruin it. It’s going to become something it was never intended to be. And so many men now, executives in the league and sports drive-bys are in a race to see who can be the most politically correct feminist guy. It’s comical to watch this.”

Rush Limbaugh is an obnoxious, sexist gasbag (yes, I know — understatement of the century).

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  • eric

    I do somewhat object to how pro sports watches, regulates, and penalizes their employee’s off-the-job behavior. I certainly wouldn’t want my workplace doing that, and while its not illegal, it rubs me the wrong way.

    OTOH, if I became a convicted felon I would probably just be fired and never rehired again. My work would be far less forgiving about major crimes than the NFL seems to be. In that respect, I suppose I would take (and be happy with) a ‘fine’ for some small portion of my salary instead of an outright firing.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Because apparently it’s terribly emasculating to men not to be allowed to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends.

    Looks like Rushbo has a bad case of projection, and it’s either violence or Viagra. And the Viagra may not be enough by itself.

  • John Pieret

    Apparently, being a violent male, willing to beat up women (and now, perhaps, children) is essential to the sport Rush wants to see. Maybe we can just get Rush a couple of gladiators willing to fight to the death for a big enough purse and throw in a few lions and a minority of his choice …

  • busterggi

    Wasn’t the NFL wussy enough already what with penalizing poor Michael Vick for abusing dogs?

    Real men like Rush have to something to abuse.

  • karmacat

    Yes, because it is so macho to beat up someone smaller than you or someone that can’t fight back.

  • Alverant


    I think the NFL wants to keep the illusion going that its players are something special and can’t be easily replaced. Us regular people are like cogs, if one squeaks, throw it away and replace it. But the mighty football players are a rare breed and must be coddled. Even though if one goes away there are millions of other people more than willing to take his place. As long as he’s useful to the NFL, they’ll let him stay.

  • Taz

    eric – Your employer certainly would punish your off-the-job behavior if you were a public face of the company. And like it or not, all professional athletes are public faces of their respective leagues and teams. It goes with the territory.

  • eric

    @7 – I’m willing to accept the ‘public face’ argument for certain positions, but not for every player (just as I reject the notion that every teacher is a public representative of a school). I think that argument also comes into play more when someone is being punished for otherwise legal behavior (again, the parallel to teachers comes to mind) – it doesn’t really crop up in cases like this, where the person admitted to a violent crime. In this case, ‘public face’ is somewhat irrelevant – my point here is that the NFL is being more lenient than most employers would be, because most employers would just plain fire a person for admitting to a felony. Not suspend you for a couple of months or fine you a few percent of your salary.

  • chilidog99

    Football the masculine sport of tight ends and wide receivers. Where men bend over for their leader. A sport where but slapping is an art form.

    Yeah, right Rush.

  • dingojack

    Why not forget gridiron and go straight to professional wife-beating? I bet Rushbo would pay to watch. For him it’s ‘manly’.



  • alanb

    Because apparently it’s terribly emasculating to men not to be allowed to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends.

    This is the first that I had heard of this. As soon as I read it I immediately went to The Google to see what kind of outrage there was. Almost nothing. How does calling Sandra Fluke a slut even come close to this in horribleness? What is wrong with people?

  • A Hermit

    “Rush Limbaugh is an obnoxious, sexist gasbag…”

    in other news, General Franco is still dead….

  • cry4turtles

    I think Sam Rice should certainly be punished; however, I don’t think he should be banned from ever playing again if he agrees to intervention. I hated what Big Ben did, but he committed to counseling and it seemed to have worked. How else can we stop the cycle of violence? If a violent person continues to offend post-intervention, then fire his or her ass!

  • Modusoperandi

    Look on the positive side: Rush is standing up for a black man.

  • eric

    @13 – I have no problem with counseling and reintegration as a solution for most folk. Yes, you are right in that stopping the violence means giving offenders a second chance at a peaceful, non-violent, prosperous life. But Ray Rice has a $35,000,000 contract, $15,000,000 of which is guaranteed no matter how much or how little he plays. He also got a $15,000,000 signing bonus on top of all that. This is not Jean Valjean. This is not a guy who will need to turn to robbery if no legitimate business will hire him. Yes society is generally helped by ensuring criminals don’t have perverse economic incentives for staying a criminal. But Ray Rice is not one of the guys for whom that argument applies.

  • Kevin Kehres

    @8: None of the NFL domestic abuse cases are felonies — not even Ray Rice’s. And in fact, Rice’s case has already been adjudicated and charges will be dropped once he goes to intervention training (basically, classes on how to behave in public).

    Adrian Peterson has been indicted on felony child abuse charges. He hasn’t “agreed to” the charge at all.

    So, your statement is a bit — well, either premature or uninformed.

    You can be a felon and still work in professional sports. Michael Vick is the most prominent name that comes to mind.

  • lofgren


    This is not a guy who will need to turn to robbery if no legitimate business will hire him.

    By the same token he is not smacking his wife around because he needs the money.

    People commit violence for all manner of reasons and counseling may be able to help even if your reason isn’t economic.

    Rice is going to be in intimate relationships with women again. Hell he’s still married to the one he punched on video. If counseling can protect his victim pool that’s more important than firing him in my opinion.

  • JamesY2

    Rush is saying that anyone who isn’t violent is apparently unmanly.

    The contrapositive of this is that all men are violent.

    …and it’s supposed to be feminists who hate men?

  • Doug Little

    Yes because losing 50% of your potential customers is a great way to run a business. WTF is wrong with this guy? The NFL has continually made an effort to appeal to woman which is a good thing as sausage fests generally aren’t nearly as entertaining. It’s nice to be able to watch a game with the significant other and not have her feel uncomfortable because the place is full of grunting Rush Limbaughs.

  • lorn

    Given that Limbaugh got out of selective service by having a sore on his ass, and his only job has been talking trash on the radio radio laying unwarranted abuse on people better than him, while avoiding criticism by prearranging and screening callers, he has a lot of experience with ‘Chickification’ .

  • lofgren

    I’m sure I’m not the first person to wonder if the sore that got him out of military service ended up being more serious than we all assume. In time it may have achieved sentience and consumed him entirely, eventually launching its own radio show.

  • Anri

    Rush’s argument appears to be that we certainly shouldn’t let something as trivial as violence against women interfere with the truly important matters like football.

  • freehand

    We’re feminizing this game, and its a man’s game,


    Wow. I didn’t think it was possible to find Rush more contemptible. If I were a football player, I would be outraged that this insecure, drug-addled, sexually dysfunctional, misogynistic, vituperative, sycophantic invertebrate was impudent enough to claim to know what toughness is all about.


    For anyone who wants temporary relief from this attitude, I recommend the movie The Sensei starring Diana Lee Inosanto. An intelligent, sympathetic, and realistic martial arts movie. (It is possible.)

  • slatham

    “It’s going to become something it was never intended to be.”

    I’m quite curious to know what Rush thinks the game was intended to be. And after whatever bullshit dribbles from his lips, I’d like to ask him for his source.