ESPN’s Rob Parker gave his first extended interview since returning from his suspension for questioning Robert Griffin III’s blackness. Parker came off sounding as bad as he did when he made his original comments. He is cowardly avoiding responsibility for the comments. Instead, he is ascribing them to others and blaming the public for taking them out of context.
“I wasn’t saying that he wasn’t black enough,” Parker argued on WDIV-Detroit’s Flashpoint. “When people say that, it’s just not true. I was saying, ‘These are the conversations that take place once a guy pushes away.’ It was never aimed at him or I was calling him that. I was saying, ‘these are the conversations that take place.'”
While Parker tries to pass along his comments to others, let us remind you what he originally said on “First Take” Dec. 13.
“For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.
“But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?
“Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker explained. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”
In all that, how often did you hear Parker say “this is what others are saying,” and how often do you see “me” or “I” or “my”? It was clear he was expressing his personal opinion when he questioned Griffin’s blackness. It’s pathetic that he’s backing away and blaming others.
Parker continued to ascribe blame to others who have the conversation about Parker during his Flashpoint appearance. He also invoked an O.J. Simpson comparison to defend himself.
“It was just a conversation that’s had in the black community when athletes or famous entertainers push away from their people. And that’s really what it’s about,” said Parker. “You saw it with OJ Simpson when he said, ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J.’ So it’s more about that, not about RG3 and what’s going on. It’s more about this thing that we’ve battled for years and why we people have pushed away.”
Parker discussed ESPN’s role in the controversy. Though he doesn’t think the network liked the fallout, he’s proud of the forum “First Take” provides. He also says the show’s producers knew where they were going with the RG3 topic.
“I don’t know if [ESPN] enjoyed it. I think they were really hurt by the backlash that came from it,” said Parker. “It wasn’t meant in that vain at all. The people and the producers and everybody on the show, we just didn’t think of it that way. We weren’t trying to slam the kid; we were trying to tackle these issues.
“The one thing I’m proud about being on that show, ‘First Take,’ for the last six years, is that we are willing to tackle a lot of stuff that most shows won’t touch or even discuss. I think it’s important and that we’ve done it in a good way.”
Parker confirmed that the comments were planned.
“[The show's producers] knew which way we were going and it was not off the cuff.”
That is exactly why Parker and some of the show’s staff members were suspended. They knew this was where the conversation was going.
“It also shows how big and popular ‘First Take’ is,” boasted Parker.
That is exactly why the show needs to be discontinued.
So we have Parker blaming others for his something he posed as his opinion, and then he blames the public for taking his very clear remarks out of context. Maybe the problem is we objected to his racist remarks and that he presented his argument poorly.
Look, Parker, you’re on TV. You’re supposed to have an elevated, educated opinion. Raise the discourse, don’t lower it. And when you get caught making awful, racist remarks, don’t back down and then blame others for it. Man up and say you were wrong.
Goodness, this guy should not have any public forum.Google+