So in case you haven’t heard, ESPN found itself at the center of a major controversy, back in mid-December, when one of their regular pundits and sports analysts, Rob Parker, made some negative comments on their daily morning show, First Take, about Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
On the show, Parker attacked a recent statement by Griffin saying, bascially, that he wanted to be known as a good quarterback and not just a good black quarterback – a statement which incensed Parker.
Parker responded on the show, saying about Griffin “…is he a brother or he is a cornball brother?”
He further went on to say: “Well 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 the guy you’d want to hang out with because he’s off to do something else.” (I will admit I don’t understand what Parker meant by that last part of his statement)
Well, the backlash was immediate and quick, over Parker’s comments, and he was suspended for 30 days by the network. However, yesterday Parker gave an interview to a local Detroit TV station to explain what he meant by his comments.
He claimed that he had no intention of putting down Griffin and that his remarks were meant as: “…just a conversation that’s had in the black community when athletes or famous entertainers or whatever push away from their people. That’s really what it’s about. You saw it with O.J. Simpson and some other people where they say ‘Well I’m not black. I’m O.J.’ So it’s more about that, not about RGIII and what’s going on. It’s more about this thing that we’ve battled for years and why people have pushed away from their people. It’s more about that.”
He also claimed that ESPN knew somewhat beforehand what he was going to say on the show: “We had a discussion inside. A pre-production meeting and not every single word, but they knew which way we were going and, I think, it’s just not off the cuff, obviously.“
However that wasn’t enough for ESPN, who, today, fired Parker from the network. A official ESPN spokesman said that Rob Parker’s “contract expired at year’s end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal.“
But allow me a few questions…
From what I understand, Parker was well known for making controversial remarks, and that’s the main reason why ESPN signed him in the first place. So why, all of a sudden, get all hot and bothered by what he says now?
Second, admittedly not being a sports fan in any way shape or form, and barely knowing any athletes, what did Griffin say or do to for Parker to go after him like that, aside from the “being the best quarterback” statetment? Is it a fair or a cheap shot?
And just exactly what or who defines what being black is?
Your comments if you please…