McNabb responds to Limbaugh's racially sensitive comments

Updated: October 1, 2003, 6:56 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Donovan McNabb answered a low blow by taking the high road.

The Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback spoke Wednesday about the racially sensitive comments ESPN analyst Rush Limbaugh made during the network's pregame show Sunday.

A conservative radio talk show host in his first year with ESPN, Limbaugh said the hype surrounding McNabb may come from the NFL and media wanting a black quarterback to do well rather than his performance on the field.

On his radio show Wednesday, Limbaugh defended his comments, claiming the ensuing media crush proves he was right.

McNabb didn't criticize Limbaugh.

"It's somewhat shocking to hear that on national TV from him," said McNabb, who has earned three consecutive Pro Bowl berths. "It's nothing that I can sit here and say it's going to affect me."

McNabb was more upset that ESPN's other analysts didn't oppose Limbaugh. Also on the panel were former NFL players Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson, who are black, and Steve Young.

"I'm not pinpointing anyone," McNabb said. "I'm a Michael Irvin fan, Steve Young fan and Tom Jackson. But somebody should have said something to the race issue."

Limbaugh's claims may have been sparked by the Eagles' slow start this season. Before Sunday's 23-13 win in Buffalo, they lost to Tampa Bay and New England by a combined 48-10.

After the losses, McNabb was the lowest-rated quarterback in the league. But in his first four NFL seasons, he led the Eagles to a pair of NFC championship games. Among active quarterbacks with at least 45 starts, he was third with a .646 winning percentage.

"I'm a football player and that was my dream," he said. "My dream was to play pro football in the NFL. I'm going to continue to fulfill my dream."

McNabb said his dream is "to become a great human being, a person that people can rely on and trust and a good football player." He'd also like people to see him as a quarterback, not a "black quarterback."

"It's something that I've been going through since I was young, through high school, through college and through the NFL," he said. "You figure that it would have been over by now."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index