Television

Limbaugh quits ESPN over racist comments

NEW YORK: ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown commentator Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN Wednesday night, three days after making controversial statements against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Limbaugh had said during last Sunday's pre-game show that McNabb is overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

ESPN stated it had accepted his resignation.

Limbaugh issued a statement along with this resignation late Wednesday night in which he wrote:

"My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love NFL Sunday Countdown and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen."

ESPN and ABC Sports' president George Bodenheimer issued the following response:

"We accept his resignation and regret the circumstances surrounding this. We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously."

Limbaugh in his pre-match comments had also said, "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. The defence carried this team."

Negative reaction did not come immediately. But on Tuesday, McNabb told a newspaper: "It's sad that you've got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal."

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