Posted December 19, 2012

ESPN’s Rob Parker apologizes to RGIII for racial comments

NFL

Suspended ESPN First Take contributor and columnist Rob Parker apologized on Twitter Wednesday for racial comments he made about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, saying he “blew it” and is sincerely sorry.

“My question is, and it’s just a straight, honest question:  Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother,” Parker said last Thursday on ESPN’s First Take. “He’s not really. He’s black, he 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 kind of guy you really want to hang out with.”

ESPN re-aired the segment later in the afternoon and then suspended Parker the next day “until further notice” saying the brass at the network were conducting a full review.

Here is Parker’s tweet in full context:

“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN’s reaction. Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught – with dignity, respect and pride. I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.”


44 comments
craig.w.bryant
craig.w.bryant

"I believe the intended topic is a worthy one", seriously, what the heck is that supposed to mean. That's the biggest non-apology I have ever seen. This guy is a racist bigot, ESPN just lost one viewer by failing to fire this clown.

DonHole
DonHole

Fire him, don't fire him. I don't care. I had no idea who he was before this and don't plan to read him in the future. But I think people are tired of the double standard. Right is right and wrong is wrong and the consequences for this type of behavior just need to be consistent and colorblind.

DonHole
DonHole

Was that wrong? Because I have to tell you if anyone had mentioned that kind of thing was frowned upon..I've got to plead ignorance on this one....

laclipperzfan
laclipperzfan

I still don't know how Mike Greenburg still has a job after saying "Happy Martin Luther Coonday" on live radio.

AnthonyW.Gibbs1
AnthonyW.Gibbs1

 @laclipperzfan When did he say that? I think that would have made the news, to put it mildly.  All those black ballplayers would not go on his show.

Henry M
Henry M

 @laclipperzfan

 Maybe because he's Jewish. I heard Doug Gottlieb make insensitive comments criticizing the Catholic faith and no one at ESPN batted an eye lash. 

DeeEllEll
DeeEllEll like.author.displayName 1 Like

Skip Bayless is white you know.  He does his thing but he's not really down with the cause you know.  He's kind of white but not really the kind of guy I want to hang out with.  I heard he's like a Democrat or something.

slapshot18
slapshot18 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

This is an apology written by an atorney and vetted through ESPN's large PR staff. This Parker idiot is too racist to even know the vocabulary in this alleged apology. RGIII is a fine young man, articulate, sincere, talented and a good role model for kids OF ANY RACE OR ETHNICITY. I'm tired of people having to pass the racial test set up by nitwits. RGIII is a human being.  Rob Parker is also a human being. But if he was any dumber you'd have to water him.

topcat
topcat

@slapshot18 .... well said.

Nobody Asked Me
Nobody Asked Me

His tweet reads like it got vetted thru legal first. Nothing is really real. Everything is what lawyers think will fly. Country is run by lawyers. Country is in trouble because it is run by lawyers. Had a lawyer parked next to me get his hand slammed in the car door by his wife. That was a good lawyer experience. My Pop Tart is ready now. 

iaatmd
iaatmd like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Rob Parker's actual statements pale in relevance to what they have revealed.

1) There are people who really believe that to be "black", you not only have to

have a certain skin color, but meet a set of behavioral requirements as well.

2) A member or members of the editorial staff at ESPN did not immediately

find fault with either that point of view or its being disseminated to the public

and chose to air the segment again.

Warp7
Warp7 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Keep this black racist off the air! This idiot thinks there should be some type off gauge on how black a person is.  What an idiot.  This just shows that within the Black Community there exist racist!

Benjamin1
Benjamin1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

If a White analyst said those comments, I am pretty sure that White guy would have been kicked out immediately and avid followers of that TV show would have cried "that's a racist comment" against that White guy. Tiger Wood is not totally black and I agree. He should have been labelled "Asian/Black American" and not "African-American"because although his father was black, his mother is Asian, coming from Thailand. The problem is because Tiger is so popular, black people tend to own him as purely black. This has to change and give importance to his mother's ancestry.

meccanaje
meccanaje

@Benjamin1 Your comment is not true. African Americans will never claim Tiger because he himself refuses to claim he is one of us. We do not want to claim his simple azz at all. Let him be Asian and leave the African American out!!! And didn't a white male say something about Tiger, fried chicken and collard greens or watermelon and lost endorsements. No pun intended but if you are not AA please don't speak for us because after Tiger said he isn't AA, we let him go IMMEDIATELY...he really isn't respected anywhere. #justsaying

donald5
donald5 like.author.displayName 1 Like

It is hard to take these apologies seriously.  We know what he meant and that isn't something you suddenly realize is wrong after a few days of suspension.  He thinks if you want to call youself "black", you have to do this that and this to be "black".  If not, you are some sort of traitor.  I can hardly see, given by his comments on twitter after the event but before his suspension, that he still doesn't hink he was completely right.  This was not a poor choice of words.  We know what he said and he meant it.  He is apologizing because he won't have a job if he doesn't.  He still thinks the same but knows what thoughts he can say out loud.  I saw nothing in that statement that comes close to any type of change of heart.

MotownCommish
MotownCommish like.author.displayName 1 Like

ESPN needs to fire this man.  He's been playing the race card forever in Detroit.  If this was a white person they would be gone, not suspended.  Don't see any of the reverends making a big stink about this, but if was a white person....beware.

TheAngrySpider
TheAngrySpider like.author.displayName 1 Like

He's been like this for years in Detroit. I've never understood how he was even in the field. He's that guy that has to be outrageous in every point  - like he goes out of his way to be different and to get attention (all negative). Just as long as his name surfaces as a topic of conversation.

scottdaman
scottdaman like.author.displayName 1 Like

ESPN fire that man... if a white person made that comment, people would be wanting that person fired... treat all the same like all want...FIRE HIM ASAP, do the right thing ESPN....

scottdaman
scottdaman like.author.displayName 1 Like

he should be fired, if a white person made that remark, people would want him fired and people all want to be treated the same... ESPN, do the right thing!  FIRE his ass!

TitanPBD
TitanPBD like.author.displayName 1 Like

Rob Parker--you have a history of making inappropriate (and sometimes downright illogical) comments in every job you've had.  Please find yourself a new career.  You are not competent at opening your mouth or otherwise communicating in a public forum.  

keithb
keithb like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

"I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner."

 

How is RG3's skin color a 'difficult, important topic'?

jussathought
jussathought

I wouldn't shed one tear if they fired this guy, but I would probably just keep him off the air until the end of football season. 

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being "why are we talking about this" and 10 being Jay Marrioti, I'd put this at a 6 or 7.  He needs to be punished significantly, but shouldn't lose his entire career

Paul9
Paul9 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Seems a bit too "textbook" of an apology to be sincere - sounds more like trying to do some spin control and P.R. career management.   Seems like he spoke what he REALLY thinks in his original comments - not likely that he's going to have such a 180 degree shift in thinking that quickly.  After all, "out of the heart, the mouth speaks".

BobVincent
BobVincent

Black = apologize and get your job back.

White = Get fired and be black listed in the industry.

 

Disgusting...

Stopwhinin
Stopwhinin

 @BobVincent Yup, dumbazz white's have a habit thinking they're 'supreme'.  When in reality you're just human like the rest of us. 

 

Stupid...

HaiHo
HaiHo

 @Stopwhinin  

Seriously, some folks here have some serious issues about their race.  Learn to compete and stop whining about white superiority!

 

Stupid...

Stopwhinin
Stopwhinin

 @HaiHo Compete?! At what? Are you still in 2nd grade? What in the world are you talking about? Lol!!!!!

 

 

Beyond stupid...

SandbagSix
SandbagSix like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Hmmm...I think Parker shared his heart pretty clearly the first time.  You're legitimately black as long as there is no question that you date or marry only black women, hang out only with certified "brothers" to engage in approved activities, and that you vote only for the people the Arbiters of Authentic Blackness tell you you have to vote for. 

 

Heaven forbid a black man do his own thinking and make his own choices without asking permission from the Rob Parkers of the world.

rchaa27aa
rchaa27aa

Screw this black thug. He is a big part of the problem. What a butt.

sby14
sby14

Would a commentator still have his job if he criticized a white guy, asking if he was really white, for associating with black guys?

jussathought
jussathought

interesting (but lazy) question ... so what does being white mean?

m.guszak
m.guszak

Who the hell is Rob Parker? I am pretty sure RGIII is asking the same question.

dt
dt

LOL Parker is only half black.  RG3 will always have more African American blood flowing through his veins.  And IMO RG3 is a better person than 99% of Black athletes out there.

Stopwhinin
Stopwhinin

 @dt 1/2 black? Dude, once you have a drop of black blood, you're black. Screw the 1/2 shi*. 

roygbiv
roygbiv

 @dt

 Besting 99% of black affletes in the character department isn't exactly difficult.

Stopwhinin
Stopwhinin

 @roygbiv  @dt Another 'supreme' idiot comment. You apparently have less than they do. 

 

(sip)

AnthonyW.Gibbs1
AnthonyW.Gibbs1

I know he's smarter than this.  You just don't share those kind of opinions on ESPN.  He's smart enough to phrase his answer to reflect what he means without calling someone a "cornball brother" or whatever.

HansOmaicock
HansOmaicock like.author.displayName 1 Like

One of the dumbest comments I have ever heard..."cornball brother" what an idiot!!!!

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

You are cornball brofa for apologizing, LOL.  Naw, this dude is a doofus for what he said....hopefully he has learned and will, if he's not canned, bring some good opinions or thinks to think about in the future.  I kind of doubt it but he seems remorseful...