An African-American ESPN2 contributor, Rob Parker, stepped in it Thursday when he called Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III “kind of black,” and said of the athlete, “He’s not one of us.”
The comments were made by columnist Rob Parker, who was appearing on the morning show “First Take.”
Griffin said in an interview published this week by USA Today that he didn’t want to be defined by the color of his skin. In discussing the issue of Griffin and race on ESPN2, Parker began by asking of Griffin: “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?”
When asked by others discussing the issue to explain, he went on to say: “Okay he’s black, he kind of does the thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you really want to hang out with…”
Parker later said: “We all know he has a white fiancée, then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information at all…”
Parker’s comments caused an immediately backlash around DC, even prompting councilmember and former mayor Marion Barry to speak out.
“I thought that we in the black community had gotten past that who’s black enough, who’s not black,” Barry told ABC7. “I thought that era was over with.”
“He’s an outstanding athlete,” Barry added later. “And it’s appalling that you have other black people talking like that.”