ESPN’s Rob Parker didn’t realize his comments about Robert Griffin III would land him in suspension.
On the network’s show “First Take”, Parker was asked whether or not the Washington Redskins’ quarterback was a “brother” or if he is a “cornball brother.” Parker responded by saying:
“He’s not real. 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 want to hang out with because he’s off to something else.”
ESPN reacted shortly after re-airing the episode.
“Following yesterday’s comments Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said. “We are conducting a full review.”
It is believed that Parker generalized RGIII on the basis that he has a white fiancée.
In recent months, Griffin has spoken publicly about his image as an African-American.
“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that,” Griffin said. “We always try to find similarities in life, no matter what it is so they’re going to try to put you in a box with other African-American quarterbacks – Vick, Newton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon…That’s the goal. Just to go out and not try to prove anybody wrong but just let your talents speak for themselves.”
“Robert can certainly take care of himself,” said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association. “Nonetheless, I hope that our men and for that matter, my own kids, will never beg for authenticity from someone who can only talk about the things that other people have the courage to do. People need to be held accountable for the offensive things that they say.”