ESPN commentator suspended for racial comments about Redskins QB

Robert Griffin III

Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III: “For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin.”

Why is it whenever an African-American declares he wants to be judged solely by the content of his character, the left views that person as somehow less “black?”

At a press conference following Wednesday’s practice session, rookie Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who happens to be black, made it crystal clear he didn’t wish to be defined by his race.

“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said in an obvious salute to Martin Luther King, Jr. “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.”

Then Griffin’s black Redskins fans were brought up.

“I am aware how much race is relevant to them,” Griffin said. “I don’t ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. I understand that they’re excited that their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. I understand that. I appreciate them for being fans and not just fans because they’re African-Americans.”

The press still didn’t get it, and felt compelled to compare him to other black quarterbacks. Griffin insisted that he be judged solely as a quarterback with any racial distinctions removed.

Although the reporters at the Wednesday press conference finally let the race non-issue go, others picked up on it. On ESPN’s Thursday airing of “First Take,” sports analyst Rob Parker said, “my question, which is just a straight honest question, is [Griffin] a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

When asked to define “cornball brother,” Parker implied that RG3 was somehow “less black” than he should be.

“We all know he has a white fiancé. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue.”

Perhaps I’m missing something, but the only person with “an issue” is Parker. Griffin appears completely issue-free.

I guess I’m not the only one who feels that way.

ESPN released a statement Friday calling Parker’s comments “inappropriate” and has suspended him for an indefinite period.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Hank Sha

    Rob Parker should follow Al Sharpton on MSNBC….one racist idiot following another..

  • Raymond O'Rourk

    I didn't know a thing about R G LIII only that he's a pretty good QB with the Skins…saw him against my Giants and was really impressed! How refreshing someone just wants do his job and live a nice life! Parker's spiel was obscene and racist! He should be mandated to attend a "sensitivity class" and make an "on air" apology to R G and to the public. And he better not be still collecting a paycheck while on suspension!!! R G…will you stop taking all the vicious hits!! Where's your protection???

  • Chuck

    I love this. R G III hopefully, when his career is over, and I hope it is a long and historical in what he will accomplish, will not be thought of as "That Black QB". I thought we were beyond that, but blacks still like to bring up this crazy shit. RGIII seems to be a very good kid and will make a great role model for the kids of the future.

  • Joey Yon

    This is how it should be fro everyone regardless of their skin color, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual preferance, etc. Now can someone please relate this message to Obama who holds on to the racist card for dear life.

  • chester farmingnal

    Im glad this a-hole was suspended! How dare this guy!

  • MA

    This is the best thing that ESPN has ever done. This is the problem with the media, politics, etc. They always try and make an issue out of black & white people!

    Stop and listen to Mr. Griffin. He clearly states he doesn't want to be labeled, his character is what's important to him.

    Mr. Parker insists that there is a problem! He won't take the man's word for it, he has to try & start trouble with that dumb word Cornball Brother! How insulting! He really should be fired.

    We need more & more of the media to do what ESPN did. How nice to see them stop the racism card that constantly get thrown in our faces!

  • seazen

    "Why is it whenever an African-American declares he wants to be judged solely by the content of his character, the left views that person as somehow less “black?”

    Why it that someone would want to take a story about this bright, grounded young man and some random comments by a sportscaster to announce that this has something to do with "the left"? And why is it whenever there is a story about anything there are people who feel the need to somehow find a way to attack President Obama? Ridiculous.

  • Irma Gordon

    Mr. Griffin is an honest person and wants to be judged on his abilities, not whether he's black or white. Mr. Parker is an

    IDIOT !! Let him be judged by his ignorant words.

  • Quan

    It is a racist statement. The fact that Rob Parker is black does not make it any less racist or class-ist. To say that a black man is less "cornball" because he dates a White or is Republican has no place in this day and age. Yet, with Bush political correctness on the rise, we should encourage the Rob Parkers of the world to explain their inherent biases. It is part of how the community where Parker comes from really feels. For ESPN to suspend him doesn't make it any less of a reality. They feel that way, and once it is out in the open, may be as at an large community, we can begin to discuss racism, class-ism, gender bias and other prejudices which affect the way we treat each other all the time. When it quacks, it's a duck and you can fine it, you can say it's wrong, it still quacks.