ESPN has suspended commentator Rob Parker for comments he made regarding Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said: “Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review.”
This was not unexpected and probably deserved. First Take is definitely a show that goes after the uncomfortable topics and topics that get headlines too, but Parker took it too far.
When Parker appeared on “First Take” Thursday, he was asked about Griffin’s role as a black quarterback. Parker questioned Griffin’s “blackness.”
“Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” said Parker, who is black.
Parker went even further and questioned Griffin’s “blackness” (whatever that is) via both his current relationship and his politics as well.
“We all know he has a white fiancée,” he said. “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. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, I’ve got black skin, but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.”
This is just absurd. He is questioning Griffin’s race based on something “there’s no information about at all”? Some really great journalism there.
Skip Bayless then unbelievably asked Parker: “what do RG3’s braids say to you?”
Wow. I’ve disliked Bayless in the past, but never more than in that moment. I happen to think a review of Bayless’ behavior during the show would not be out of line as well. As if you couldn’t take a situation that had already spun out of control and flip it completely out of proportion.
Robert Griffin II, the quarterback’s father, downplayed the comments:
“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.”
This was completely unacceptable by Parker and I’m glad that ESPN took notice of it and then took immediate action. Let’s hope that we don’t have to listen to Parker on TV for a long time to come.