On-air personality Rob Parker was reportedly suspended indefinitely by ESPN on Friday stemming from his controversial comments about race and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review.”
The comments came during ESPN’s “First Take” in a conversation about the rookie Redskins’ QB desire not to be referred to as a “black quarterback.”
“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.”
Rob Parker mentioned that in conversations he’s observed in his Detroit area barbershop, “the bros” have questioned if RG3 is a “real brother” and not a “cornball.” He foolishly cited one of the things “the bros” used as evidence of his “cornball status,” the fact that RG3 is engaged to a white woman ironically named, Becky. – Go here if you’re missing the “Becky” reference.
Check out the video and let me know your thoughts about the conversation.
I think Rob was trying to have an open and honest conversation about some perceptions that happen in the black community at times. But this wasn’t the right forum for that. Coupled with the way he choose to express himself, the focus was redirected from the point I thought he was originally trying to make. Stephen A. Smith tried to help him articulate his thoughts more clearly but by that point, the damage had already been done.