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Rob Parker blames others for his Robert Griffin III comments

rob-parkerESPN’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.



Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/brett.baylis.3 Brett Baylis

    Well,Parker used to be a formidable,hard-hitting journalist and,I think,basically a good dude-
    I met him in ’99 at Freed’s,a local-Windsor,Ont.,Can.,my life-long residence-but since joining the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ),has become a race pimp un-worthy of
    Jackson,Farrakhan,Dyson,West,etc. Plus with the idiotic like of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith as partners in crime,Parker can vent his spleen to his heart’s content,or so he thought until ESPN fired him.
    Still,the BIG hypocrite is ESPN,who plays to the dull-normal Bubba and Jamaal element by
    manufacturing “controversy” to get ratings to stoke its 80-100 IQ audience,then they react to these folks’ rabble-rousing by firing them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJ3NTNTFLVFNZW6E2ZZLNHNBOM SGS

    Regardless, being a journalist does not give you a platform to exempt themselves to make offensive remarks, they need to make better judgements than that. No journalist, no matter what background they come from, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc, automatically makes them the spokes person for that “entire” community. Neither does, organizations that advocate for a certain group or community, is the representation for an entire community. Some may take offense, some may not, as seen in this situation. Therefore, stick to the topic at hand, his comments were an unsolicited personal jab towards RGIII, what Rob Parker failed to realize is that the make-up of the Black culture is very diverse; language, politics, social, economic, traditions, etc. His ignorant comments were lead by stereotypes of the Black culture and hidden behind what “others” said. If ESPN like manufacturing “controversy” like any other network, than Parker should not have been gullible to fall in line with it.

  • dafirestar

    Great Article, couldn’t agree more with your comments, being from Detroit I’ve read Parker for years. The fact is I wasn’t reading him for his journalistic abilities, I was reading him so I felt better about my own writing ability, and that I for the fact that I can’t keep my eyes off an approaching train wreck. Over the years at the Detroit Free Press his theme was being divisive as possible racially, and bullying those that couldn’t, or wouldn’t defend themselves. Don’t anyone feel sorry for Rob Parker he isn’t a very good man. A white man couldn’t get close to what he has gotten away with saying, think of Jimmy the Greek’s comments of 20 years ago, and his price for his words. Parker’s stuff in on a level of racial divisiveness much worse yet I’m sure he will be back he unfortunately always has rebounded.

  • http://twitter.com/INSANITYCHECK12 Insanity Check

    Larry Brown, you are a disgrace as a so called (media)  journalist. To take the time to write, proof read, edit, and publish that you think a show that voices peoples opinions and debates should be discontinued because you disagree with one of the panelists is disgusting. The foundation of this site and everything you have done according to your bio, revolves around the right to express ones position. And while you are doing the same, you sound even more idiotic and out of touch than Rob Parker came close to sounding on the show. You should write a formal apology to every journalist, freedom fighter, and child who might want to do what you do for a living. Because obviously you are a thief who is apparently being paid to be a hypocrite and censor and not a member of the media.

  • Mattcampbell62

    I think Larry Brown was completly appropriate in the forum he has used. Rob Parker, on the other hand, brought both political bias and racial divisiviness into a sports forum. Insanity Checks attack on Larry Brown is what I find disgusting.