rush_limbaugh5Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh dedicated a portion of his show earlier this week to the “leftist creation” known as “hate crime crap,” and suggested the death of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was not motivated by hate.

The topic came up in a discussion about Jason Collinsdebut as the first openly gay athlete to play in a major league sport this week. He wore the number 98 in honor of Shepard.

Limbaugh said:

What we have here is a portion of the play-by-play of the Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins, the first openly gay player to actually play in a professional sports game. It happened last night. The Brooklyn Nets against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This is the Nets play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco, as Jason Coll — who by the way took number 98 in solidarity with Matthew Shepard, who was, it’s now been proven didn’t happen, but reputed to have beaten up by a bunch of anti-gay bigots.

As you should already know, Shepard was tortured and brutally murdered in October 1998 after being picked up at a bar by his attackers. Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson used the “gay panic” defense to justify killing Shepard (they were convicted and sentenced to two life terms in 1999), and the ordeal led to the nation’s first federal law specifically protecting LGBTs from hate crimes.

Keep it classy, Rush!

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