Robert Griffin III: ‘Some wrong’ in Rob Parker being fired over comments


Robert Griffin III is on the cover of GQ’s September edition, and the magazine has a feature article on the Washington Redskins quarterback. One of the subjects that came up in the feature was former ESPN TV host Rob Parker’s comments questioning Griffin’s blackness. Parker cited Griffin’s white wife and asked whether RG3 was a brother or cornball brother.

[Video: Rob Parker questions Robert Griffin III's blackness]

According to GQ, Griffin seemed to bring up the Parker issue on his own by reciting some lyrics from Waco, Texas, rapper Quistar’s song “Changed the Game.” Griffin knows Quistar from their high school days, and that particular song contains several lyrics related to the Parker-Griffin issue. Griffin recited some of the lyrics in front of writer Brendan Vaughn, which led the quarterback to share his thoughts on the matter.

“I haven’t blown the song up, because I don’t think it’s right to make fun of Rob Parker for losing his job,” Griffin said. “There’s some wrong in what he said, but there’s some wrong in him losing his job as well. And I don’t want people to think that I, you know, that I’m trying to stick it to Rob Parker, or that I’m happy he lost his job. But I was very unhappy with the things he said. I mean, why did he say that?

I don’t think there was any wrong in Parker losing his job over the comments. People who are on TV for ESPN are leading opinion makers. Who wants a guy so focused on creating racial divides representing their network?

Though Griffin does say he was bothered by the comments, saying he thought there was some wrong in Parker getting fired shows his consideration toward others.

Helmet smack to Shutdown Corner
Photo credit: Ben Watts/GQ

Rob Parker fired by ESPN

rob-parkerRob Parker’s comments questioning Robert Griffin III’s blackness have finally cost him his job. ESPN announced on Tuesday that they would be firing the “First Take” host.

Here’s the company’s statement on the matter:

“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”

Parker said on “First Take” Dec. 13 that he wasn’t sure what kind of brother Griffin was. He questioned the quarterback’s blackness, and the episode re-aired throughout the day on ESPN without that part being edited out of the show. As the backlash picked up throughout the day, ESPN finally addressed the comments by calling them “inappropriate.

ESPN suspended Parker and at least one producer from the show, and then announced Tuesday they decided not to bring back Parker.

In his first extended comments since being suspended, Parker expressed very little remorse for his Griffin remarks. Parker blamed others for his RG3 comments, and then he said the public took his comments out of context. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand says ESPN made the decision to fire Parker before the host’s interview with Click on Detroit.

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.

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Arian Foster in response to Rob Parker: ‘I’m going to work on my blackness today’

Rob-ParkerBy making some incredibly insensitive and idiotic comments about Robert Griffin III on Thursday, ESPN’s Rob Parker has created the buzz he was looking for. As you have probably heard, Parker questioned RG3’s blackness while pointing out that he is a Republican and has a white fiance, among other things.

After Parker made the comments on “First Take,” a Twitter user decided to ask Arian Foster if he had any thoughts on the matter. Foster, who is always willing to engage fans on Twitter and discuss important topics, initially gave the following response:

Both of those tweets sum up the issue perfectly, but Foster wasn’t done. As of Friday morning, the Texans running back had apparently figured out who Parker was and learned the details of his moronic remarks. That led to these hilarious comments:

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Robert Griffin III’s father dismisses Rob Parker’s comments

If you’re wondering where Robert Griffin III got his level-headed approach from, look no further than his father.

Griffin’s dad, RG2, was reached by USA Today Sports and asked to comment on ESPN personality Rob Parker, who questioned the Redskins quarterback’s blackness during Thursday’s episode of “First Take.” Reporter Jim Corbett says Robert Griffin II is not taking offense to the comments because “it’s not going to benefit anyone.”

Griffin’s father also seemed dismissive of Parker’s ignorant remarks.

“He needs to define what ‘one of us’ is. That guy needs to define that,” Griffin II told Corbett. “I wouldn’t say it’s racism. I would just say some people put things out there about people so they can stir things up.

“Robert is in really good shape on who he is, where he needs to get to in order to seek the goals he has in life … so I don’t take offense.”

Griffin’s father clearly understands that “First Take” is all about outraging the audience, and he certainly is onto shock jocks. It’s pretty darn impressive that he was able to resist dishing on Parker, but it’s obvious he is above that. Strong character seems to run in the family.

Meanwhile, ESPN is evaluating its “next steps” regarding Parker.

Also see: ESPN’s Rob Parker questions RG3’s blackness (video)

Photo credit: Matthew Emmons-USPRESSWIRE

ESPN: Rob Parker’s Robert Griffin III comments were ‘inappropriate’

rob-parkerESPN is dealing with some serious backlash against “First Take” personality Rob Parker, who accused Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III of being a “cornball brother” who is not black enough during Thursday’s show.

The network’s PR representatives addressed the issue, saying, “The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”

Griffin seemed to address the comments with the following tweet.

The comment from Griffin was about as appropriate as his thoughts on being a black quarterback.

ESPN says it is “evaluating” its next steps. Hopefully those next steps will involve firing Parker and dumping “First Take.”

Rob Parker should be fired and without such a large media platform for one simple reason: He lowers the human race. While many people in the world are fighting injustice, prejudice, stereotypes, and biases, Parker is enforcing these notions by criticizing someone for not fitting in the way he wants them to be. It’s that type of thinking that prevents people in the world from achieving what should be one of our ultimate goals: equality for all, and the ability to be viewed based on who we are as individuals, regardless of race and color.

Not only do I hope ESPN’s “next steps” involve firing Parker, but I also hope they are reconsidering the entire “First Take” program. The show is designed to do one thing: spark debate by any means necessary. The hosts sit there each day trying to top the other in a game of “who can offend the public with the most outrageous statement?” The show promotes bad values, bad patterns of thinking, and it teaches aspiring broadcasters that being a loudmouth with radical opinions is the only way to get on TV.

I try to convey my personal feelings about the program any time I am forced to write about it. I hope many people have taken note and will fight the show the only way possible: by refusing to watch it or acknowledge anything that is said on it. The only way it will be cancelled is if people stop watching.

I just hope that ESPN will save its soul by dumping the program and its personalities finally.

ESPN’s Rob Parker questions RG3’s blackness (Video)

rob-parkerRobert Griffin III said after his Washington Redskins practiced on Wednesday that he did not want to be defined by his race. His statement sparked a debate on ESPN’s “First Take” that caused talking head Rob Parker to question Griffin’s blackness.

First, we’ll share what Griffin said.

“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said at the end of Wednesday’s post-practice news conference in reference to a question about Martin Luther King, Jr, via USA Today. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I’ve tried to go out and do.

“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”

Griffin has been credited with uniting the nation’s capital, which is often divided based on political viewpoints. He knows that he has been a source of pride among black Washington Redskins fans.

“I am aware how much race is relevant to them,” RGIII said. “I don’t ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. I understand that they’re excited that their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. I understand that. I appreciate them for being fans and not just fans because they’re African-Americans.”

To me, that’s as nice of a statement about the matter as one can make. Griffin wants to be defined by what matters the most — the content of one’s character — not his race. It’s truly an admirable viewpoint, and it’s the kind of statement that endears Griffin to all fans, regardless of race.

But then you get guys like Rob Parker, who seems to think that this means Griffin isn’t black enough. Transcriptions of the exchange on “First Take” provided by DC Sports Bog.

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