RUSH’S REPUTATION PRECEDES HIM…. Last week, Rush Limbaugh indicated his interest in becoming a co-owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams franchise. Almost immediately, some African-American players, aware of the right-wing radio host’s remarks on race, said they would not play for a team associated with the scandal-plagued personality.

Apparently, the concerns are widespread.

According to ESPN, the executive director of the NFL players union has written an email to the association’s executive committee, detailing his opposition to any purchase of the St. Louis Rams football team by Rush Limbaugh.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith wrote, “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.”

Psst, Rush, I think he’s talking about you.

Limbaugh, a Missouri native, is part of a team of bidders, and there are six groups vying for the chance to purchase the team. The NFL players’ union has no formal role in approving potential buyers, but Smith nevertheless wanted to signal “what we stand for.”

Limbaugh’s previous association with professional football was a 2003 gig on ESPN, which ended after controversial remarks about race.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.