ESPN suspends analyst Parker for comments about RGIII

ESPN announced on its website Friday that it has suspended commentator Rob Parker, who questioned the “blackness” of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III while on the air a day earlier.

“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” spokesman Jos Krulewitz said in a statement. “We are conducting a full review.”

The spokesman made no further comment on the matter.

ESPN earlier quickly responded to the racially charged comments, calling them “inappropriate” and hinting the network may take some action against him.

“The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps,” David Scott, ESPN’s director of communications, said on Twitter.

During a segment of ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, Parker said:

“Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?

“He’s not really. He’s black, he kind of does his 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, because he’s off to something else.

“… I want to find about about him. I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée, then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican. … I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue because we did find out with Tiger Woods — Tiger Woods was like ‘I have black skin but don’t call me black.’”

Parker’s comments came in the wake of remarks Griffin made after practice Wednesday — in response to reporters’ questions about race — and reported in USA Today:

“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. 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’s father told USA Today that Parker “needs to define what ‘one of us’ is. That guy needs to define that. 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 Griffin II said.

“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.”

RGIII didn’t respond directly but he did tweet that “I’m thankful for a lot of things in life and one of those things is your support. Thank you.”

(Commenting closed. Please enjoy the wide range of views on this topic)

357 comments Add your comment

othello

December 14th, 2012
6:45 am

it’s only racism when a white person says something, not a brother.

rob

December 14th, 2012
6:55 am

its only racism when ONE person says it about another, it has nothing to do with color of who said it!!!……… I have no idea who Rob Parker is, no idea if he is white or black, so when i read his comments i thought, wow, what a racists….

fondu89

December 14th, 2012
6:55 am

He should go to the same place as “Howard” and the “Greek”

jimmie

December 14th, 2012
6:55 am

dang right othello…stop pandering to the wishes of aa’s…that is what is destroying our country!

Hugh Jass

December 14th, 2012
6:57 am

It doesn’t even make sense. What is a “cornball brother?”

Ricky

December 14th, 2012
7:00 am

This guy is just a douche trying to get his name in the spotlight

Ostrich Racer

December 14th, 2012
7:00 am

I happened to catch that segment yesterday. Parker was definitely out of line. Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith both tried to reel him in, but he wouldn’t back off. They spent a lot of time trying to get him to clarify the “cornball brother” comment. It ended with Smith telling Parker, pointedly, that “the barrber shop isn’t the only place where things are real.”

georgia87

December 14th, 2012
7:02 am

It’s middle school peer pressure hiding behind the color of a man’s skin. It is insisting that a man act, believe, speak, and support all that Parker thinks he should or he’s is going to be ostracized. It takes away the human dignity of what is obviously a smart, talented, and independent young man who could be a great leader and role model for people of his race and every race. Instead, Mr. Parker is attempting to marginalize that influence before it grows because he doesn’t approve of RGIII’s choices.

It’s a good thing that there’s not a position of Supreme Dictator. Mr. Parker would surely think himself qualified for the office and apply for the job.

Vote For Obama Because He's Black

December 14th, 2012
7:03 am

If he were in the Atl,he would be worshipped by whites. They would admire this young man for his talents.
Black Atl on the other hand would call him a sellout.
He would make them feel very uncomfortable about themselves with the deep inferiority complex that plagues them.
They would spew hate at him.

Call It Like It Is

December 14th, 2012
7:11 am

My God the stupid just hurts.

Russ

December 14th, 2012
7:12 am

Yep … racist. Just like some of these comments.

Boehner looks like he's black

December 14th, 2012
7:20 am

Is it possible to comment here without being racist? Just a punk announcer trying to get a reaction and make a name for himself.

Bill

December 14th, 2012
7:21 am

All you have to do is to put the two quotes side by side. RGIII’s comments seem to echo Dr. Martin Luther King. Parker sounds like a gang member.

Jack ®

December 14th, 2012
7:26 am

Parker’s comment displays an attitude that’s worse than white racism.

Troupdawg

December 14th, 2012
7:27 am

What a class act is RG3!!!!!………No one needs to be defined by his or her color. Only by character,work ethic and attitude….I’m quickly becoming a fan of RG3……..What a nice role model this guy is quickly becoming. I’m very impressed with this young man!!!

Coddington

December 14th, 2012
7:27 am

It’s a stupid comment, but the near criminalization of racial speech is far more worrisome.

Double Standard As Usual

December 14th, 2012
7:28 am

Of course this isn’t getting much press because a black man said it and, in this twisted and backwards society, black people are somehow exempt from being racists….no matter how hateful and racist their words and actions may be. Also if a black person doesn’t do and act like what the majority of AAs think they should then he/she is a sellout or not “with us”. I’m so sick of watching black people oppress other AAs because they happen to act or think differently. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

Tom, no Dick, and Harry

December 14th, 2012
7:29 am

“If he were in the Atl,he would be worshipped by whites. They would admire this young man for his talents
.
Black Atl on the other hand would call him a sellout”

Thank goodness everyone isn’t as ignorant ans narrow minded as you!

.

Mike

December 14th, 2012
7:30 am

But what impact will this have on Tim Tebow’s bid to QB the Jets?

jo

December 14th, 2012
7:31 am

What is a cornball brother?

mike

December 14th, 2012
7:33 am

more “brothers” need to pattern themselves after RGIII. He is a real man. It is odd that when a black man acts responsible and treats others with respect, he is not “one of us” ?

QuestionerInChief

December 14th, 2012
7:35 am

First of all, let me state that I am BLACK. Secondly, Parker was way put of line with the comments and have a lot of growing up to do. To people like the ones who posted earlier who seem to like to lash out at ALL Black people as having some “you are not BLACK unless…” complex please allow me to extend a KISS MY — on behalf of the ENTIRE Black collective. I am sure they would appreciate my doing so. It is people like YOU who instilled and perpetuate YOUR contribution to people like Parker’s self-hatred and imbalance in the first place.

UGA Advocate

December 14th, 2012
7:36 am

I wouldn’t call the guy a racist, but his comments were out of line, some things you only say to your friends as oppose to a “national audience”…idiot……Even if RG3 isn’t someone that you’d hang with because he isn’t your type doesn’t give you any reason to call him a cornball. He may view you/ me or any of us as a cornball….OK I will admit he is a little corny…
After hearing this guy speak during his Heisman speech…it just came to me RG3 is not the type of black QB that has swag or jazz that most black fans prefer to see in a QB (ie..MV7). This guy is just being himself while using his god given talent so we should take it for what it’s worth. I understand most of us may think he is lame or not hip due to the socks, his hairstyle, and personality…….
To sum it all up….RG3 is a black dude that probably hangs with mainly white guys, likes only white girls, and have the same interest as most white guys, and for this a lot of black guys give his **** for it and views him as a sell out.

Tom, no Dick, and Harry

December 14th, 2012
7:36 am

“black people are somehow exempt from being racists”

It’s hilarious how some of you white people think you have all the answers regarding what blacks think. It’s ignorant to classify all black people based on one guys comments. Please try to show just a little bit if intelligence!

Erin "spike the ball" Murray

December 14th, 2012
7:36 am

its not racism if you a black and you say bad stuff about a white

UGA Advocate

December 14th, 2012
7:37 am

I forgot….Go Dawgs!!!!!
No matter what the subject is…..I gotta say GO Dawgs..

Robert(Ga Red Neck)

December 14th, 2012
7:38 am

I see nothing wrong with His statement, I am Black and why such a big things. Thess Rap singers use the “N” word and no one ever say anything. Wake up people and smell the Roses. We Blacks need to clean up Our acts, pull You pants up and become a member of the Human Race

jay

December 14th, 2012
7:39 am

Rob Parker is the jerk that has a hard on for talking smack about Atlanta fans so I’d love to see his butt get fired for this. And RG3 is a cornball, but who cares. That’s really what you want in a QB right?

Get It Right

December 14th, 2012
7:39 am

Hey! I’m a Cornball Brother, too! I’m doing my thing, not down with the cause, and some people don’t want to hang around with me. I’ve got me a white wife, I vote Republican, and I play golf. Stand me next to RGIII and you couldn’t tell us apart – unless you opened your eyes. Note to Rob Parker, there’s a lesson in there.

Marshall Tucker

December 14th, 2012
7:40 am

Can’t we all just get along? Parker’s a blowhard, that’s obvious. But from his personal perspective….Certainly doesn’t make it right, but,…As far as sports in general=it’s a game. G-A-M=E, like monopoly or mumbledy-peg. Time to stop putting athletes on pedestals. RGIII and anyone else’s personal choices are theirs, but if I were to see a bluebird and a redbird living together I’d figure that not to be natural and that the world was out of whack, spinning off its magnetic poles or something and bound for outer space.

Ray

December 14th, 2012
7:40 am

Ok I saw this yesterday didn’t think it would get that bad.

As for the cornball brother think that’s a northern thing with blacks up north, but I will say this I do understand where Rob Parker was coming from after come clarifying. Because he remembered how Tiger Woods did the black race basically being ashamed to be black, and we all know as much as people try to hide it the invisible 1% rule still remains.

Really I don’t know if I’d go so far to say sellout, but people like Parker thinks there is a slight chance he might be one.

Honestly you will have some black folks like that they’re not ignorant, or at least I wouldn’t call them that, but I do get where their coming from as their older some things you just never forget.

Tom, no Dick, and Harry

December 14th, 2012
7:40 am

“its not racism if you a black and you say bad stuff about a white”

Not true – Actually, It depends on what is said

Kev via Abu Dhabi

December 14th, 2012
7:42 am

I’m shocked that people are shocked by this guys comments. It’s the “crabs in a barrel” syndrome. This guy, like so many, have to find something to grab a hold of regarding RGIII to try to pull him back down into the barrel with the rest of the crabs. Unfortunately, it’s all too common and too typical. So far, it seems RGIII’s family raised him well by teaching him to have some character and independent thought to define himself and not let define who he must be.

As an adult, I have come to learn why my father called television “an idiot box” because you can hear the rambling a of idiots at any given time when you have the lights, camera, action of television.

dexter manley

December 14th, 2012
7:43 am

Another bitter fool who can’t get over it and feels offended when others of his race won’t tow the line.

UGADawg83

December 14th, 2012
7:43 am

Sounds like RG III grasps what Dr. King meant when he spoke about not judging folks by the color of their skin but rather by the content of their character.

Truth

December 14th, 2012
7:45 am

Rob Parker is a racist!!!! If ESPN does not fire him then that organization has no integrity at all.

Ray

December 14th, 2012
7:45 am

RG3 did, but to be fair calling this guy and idiot when he’s not is way out of line. I mean I don’t agree with the comments made, but I understand where he’s coming from.

gt4ever

December 14th, 2012
7:48 am

Good Grief, is this even an issue…. Really! Most of the people in the media and on this blog can’t even define the word racist. or even discern the difference between racist and bigot.. Pathetic.

Ray

December 14th, 2012
7:48 am

@ Truth

You still watch Disney?

Toredown

December 14th, 2012
7:48 am

It’s always racism when it oozes out of the mouths of stupid TeaBaggers…

Racist

December 14th, 2012
7:48 am

People use the word and dont even know what it means. Racism is the belief that one race is genetically superior than another and should rule the other. I dont believe that despising Obama’s policies fit in this category. I also believe that these comments do not qualify. This is really not just ticky tac, it needs to stop. What the commentator was doing was being discriminatory, which in this case is obviously highly offensive and he should be lynched. (just kidding)

Bill

December 14th, 2012
7:49 am

If Rob Parker was white he’d already be fired and would never work in broadcasting again.

Tom, no Dick, and Harry

December 14th, 2012
7:49 am

Kinda hard to be called a racist when the comments are made about someone who is the same race as you!

UGA Advocate

December 14th, 2012
7:49 am

….can one of you please tell me WTH is “down with the cause”…what is the damn cause?

Don't Tread

December 14th, 2012
7:51 am

Robert Griffin is the stand-up guy in this story. ESPN needs to punt Parker.

Divo Tigales

December 14th, 2012
7:51 am

You’re delusional if you think their isn’t racism and factionalism within ethnic groups. Google “paper bag party.”

JB

December 14th, 2012
7:51 am

Rob Parker = idot. What a moronic thing to say.

HBTD!!!

Howard Costello

December 14th, 2012
7:52 am

Whites who refused to support “white” causes were intimidated, called names, and were called sellouts and race traders by the klan. Now, it appears the same burden is cast upon blacks to act a particular way by the black self imposed racial authority. RG3 is a post racial, and that scares the hell out of blacks who need the identy of being black in the racial sense. It is amazing how fear holds the ignorant back, and how they use racial tactics to try and prevent this change. Rg3 and the guy out in Seattle should be celebrated, not picked apart and judged.

Ray

December 14th, 2012
7:54 am

@ UGA Advocate

I don’t get it myself and me being of African-American descent that’s kind of bad, but if I took a guess it’s simple stuff like marrying a black girl/woman, and you know giving back to the community.

Because funny enough a lot of black folks kind of like whites this is something we both agree on don’t like marrying out of race LOL!

Circleoffire

December 14th, 2012
7:55 am

Rob Parker is most definitely a racist!! RGIII seems like he has a level head on his shoulders and it will serve him well down the road. He is the kind of athlete we need, one that looks beyond race and sees things the way they should be. God help him because with people like Rob Parker, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton around, he’s going to need it!!