In all of the debatable moments in the history of First Take, this is one of the most debatable. Weekend First Take "star" Rob Parker offered bizarre commentary about Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III that is unbelievable even by Rob Parker's standards. It all started because of a First Take debate on quotes RGIII gave USA Today about not having to be defined by his race.
Parker began the discussion on RGIII's comments and floated the question asking if RGIII was "a brother or a cornball brother." Parker then threw out speculation and questioned RGIII for being a Republican and having a white fiance. After a question from Skip Bayless, Parker then affirmed RGIII was a "brother" because he wore braids. Stephen A. Smith came on directly after Parker and appeared as the voice of reason, saying "I'm uncomfortable with where we just went. RGIII, the ethnicity, the color of his fiance is none of our business, it's irrelevant, he can live his life any way he chooses... I don't judge someone's blackness based on those types of things."
Here's the video evidence...
Simply stunning. The worst thing about this clip is Parker being so watered-down in his appalling comments about everything from RGIII's hairstyle to him having a white fiance. Parker doesn't criticize RGIII for having a white fiance, but he uses it as a stepping stone to question Robert Griffin's authenticity and in the words of Stephen A. Smith, his "blackness."
Are we really making judgments and insinuations and raising speculation about people and their character based on how they wear their hair, who they marry, and what their political beliefs might be? Is this real life? The rest of the panel questioned Parker throughout the rest of the segment and First Take host Cari Champion even later asked Parker, "Why can't he just be who he is?" What a remarkable thought!
What an embarrassment and an insult to Robert Griffin III, a man who has done nothing but be a model citizen and athlete. How can ESPN defend their integrity and their brand when Rob Parker, a man they have continued to promote and feature on network airwaves, asks of Robert Griffin III, "is he a brother or a cornball brother?" If this is the present and the future of "Embrace Debate" then ESPN has some serious soul searching to do. It's your move, Bristol.
"Are we really making judgments and insinuations and raising speculation about people and their character based on how they wear their hair, who they marry, and what their political beliefs might be? Is this real life? "
Yes u f cukin idiot how much else is there to go by?? In no defense to parker (i think hes a lil out of line criticizing RGIII, given how RG3s handled these race questions), but You think being a black republican, doesnt have a shit ton of cultural, social, and historical issues/connotations behind it, etc.? Etc., You dont think hairstyle is indicative of lifestyle or is/can be a political statement? Goto wikpedia idiot and look up hairstyle or somethin then see what you learn.
I have a big prolem with this announcer! Where are his braids? I guess he isn't a"brother"! Really?!? What does the color of skin have to do with a persons "heart". I am glad this man was fired. But iI am sure it will not stop him from spewing racists remarks!
I have a BIG problem with several aspects of ESPN's reporting and advertising choices. First and foremost everyone is entitled to their own opinion however as he is a representative of ESPN then prudence should dictate that he keep his racist attitude at home or on his PRIVATE blogs. I speculate that ESPN knew of his prejudices and never addressed them in a private format but as I wrote to their (ESPN) advertising department I believe that common sense has left their executive branch. I have noticed for the last month and a half that a dating site called "blackpeoplemeet.com" has had many spots afforded to them (I am sure they paid a hefty price for some of those time slots) but as I asked the advertising department " Would they patronize a company called "whitepeoplemeet.com" and afford them the same advertising privileges or shun away due to fear of reprisals from the African-American community? My point is that the attitudes of the broadcasters are sometimes a window into the attitude of the executives.
The consequences for Mr. Parker's comments are appropriate. Remember Mr. Imus's comments regarding the young women basketball players. Mr. Parker did not consider his comments about Mr. Griffin offensive which speaks volumes about Mr. Parker. He readily admits that he has friends spying on Mr. Griffin...Mr. Griffin is a young adult who has just checked into the Hotel California and he needs mentors, family, fans and faith in order to survive.
There should be a proper forum for Mr. Parker's comments to be aired, ESPN was not the place.
why should a man be suspended for telling the truth? let's go a little bit farther in my time , he wouldn't only be called a cornball brother but also some of you will know what i am saying stepin fetchit,uncle tom,or sell out. now free rob parker. i can't believe that we allowed him in chocolate city my birth place 1940
Stupid is Stupid does ! Jimmy The Greek must be dancing in the clouds! For those who don't know who The Greek is.....Check in with Mr. Google! Rob Parker obviously didn't get the memo when he was in the green room, that HE WAS NOT IN HIS BARBERHOP! And the other memo, that said, what gets talked about in the "shop," STAYS in the shop ! I firmly believe IF Stephen A. Smith was in the studio that day, rehearsing with Skip Bayless, Carie, Rob Parker & the other complementing personalities, This incident would NOT have happen! Stephen A. woud have nixed it from the get go! I can't believe Skip didn't put a "lid" on Rob, had Parker made his intentions known! I am curious whether SKIP & Carie knew beforehand or not.
"...what gets talked about in the "shop," STAYS in the shop !" i totally agree!!! why would you say that on national tv, you clown! on top of that, you couldve at least made your asinine comments more clearly. Stephen A. wanted to crawl under a rock, and i do too. youre the only "cornball brother" here, Rob....
People in. This country are not prepared to have a disscussion of race is the driving force in this country that keeps ethnic groups such as african americans at odds with this system this simply made acomment about a topic that espn is not even equipped to talk about. So stay away from this topic if you can't take the truth I can't believe how this is being so blown out of proportion yet.mike whats his face on the mike and mike in the morning show still holds down a spot after calling MLK martin luther koon its double standards for whites being black in america damn if you do damn if you don't!
@angryblackman the question for me wasn't even about the racist aspect of his comments... which don't get me wrong, certainly give the words a certain importance and context.
but irregardless of what the words were, it was the utter ignorance and nonsense of it. Every day we listen to facts and peoples opinions on TV and decide for ourselves which ones to consider and comment on, either for or against. But the words used and underlying point by Rob Parker are ones that he should keep to himself and off of national television, where you're reaching a far wider audience then just the people in the room.
To begin any conversation you must "STAND IN THE TRUTH"! This is not about anyone else but people of color... look at the stats... don't take my word for it ... Everybody is angry today...the question is for people of color what can we.. as people of color do to crate a better world for all MEN AND WOMEN and our CHILDREN of color. None of us had a good time growning up Black in America... anger is only usful if it creates a direction and plan to change .... to gain respect you must first respect oneself... and trust is earned ... not given. These were principles our fathers and mothers understood... it is not were you come form but were you end up! Sorry Angryblackman, RGIII found a way to channel his anger into a new way of thinking about how to find HIS Happiness in this New WORLD... I mean no disrespect, but I don't feel I need to be like everyone else to be "BLACK enough in America"
Unbelievable the man is being. Villianized for exspressing his opinion why was this even being disscused on espn l thought this network was for talking sports
I wonder if Rob Parker has ever spoken to Charles Barkley. Charles was married to a white woman, and admitted to voting Republican years ago. He joked that when you're broke, you vote Democrat, but when you're making money, you vote Republican...HA HA! I doubt that he'd say Charles wasn't a true "brother," but yet he holds these same things in common with RGlll. Parker also hung himself by admitting that he couldn't even confirm Griffin's supposed political affiliation, so he got himself suspended by spouting rumor, then passing judgment on it as if it were fact. Those are some really solid journalistic standards...HA HA!
How dare Parker call RGIII a Republican! Is RGIII a racist, sexist homophobe? What a mean thing to say.
@dans1 Who cares if he is a republican or democrat? That's his point of view in politics and we should leave it at that.
You, much like Parker, shouldn't assume that one group of people are one way, in your case, you believe republicans are nothing but racist, anti gay people which is far from the truth when it pertains to the majority. It's like me saying that all Arab people are terrorist which we all know isn't true. It's wrong and stereotypical.
I don't agree with republicans on certain issues either, but democrats have their problems too.
No, Rob Parker is NOT "Columbia educated." Let me tell you why! People like Parker are "allowed" to attend high end schools to fulfill their mutual agendas. BUT, they are not required to attend class (responsibility is racist). They are not required to read text (required reading is racist). They are not required to write papers (required writing is racist). They are not required to pass tests (needing to pass tests is racist). So, while they were listed as attending college, they didn't have to participate in the education process, (so they left as ignorant as they began).
Even with honors, I couldn't go to Columbia because I could not afford it. And, people like Parker, who have an entitlement gene, took a space that could have been used by someone who would have cherished, valued, respected, and participated in the opportunity. IOW, Parker PREVENTED a worthy person from an education; just so he could "hang and brag" (just like our "ahem" "first lady").
Why is Rob Parker even employed in this field? He has an awful history of nasty, intolerant, and just plain ignorant statements.
Why do we "owe" him this position? He doesn't deserve such a vaunted role in the world! He is, in plain speak, a jerk!
Here is why I hate Rob Parker.
He just engaged in a very slick smear campaign against RGIII....and it harkens back to the phrase that black people are like crabs in a bucket...always trying to pull someone back.
Read very carefully........RGIII IS NOT A REPUBLICAN. He just isn't.
Even if he was.....I wouldn't care, but his handlers are smart enough to realize that stating your political opinions is an easy way to turn off half your fanbase.
Parker floated it out there that "RGIII might be a Republican" when there is zero, zilch, nada, no proof of that at all......and what pisses me off is that it isn't true at all.
The reason Parker did it was to float this idea that RGIII is different from the rest of us black people and is a possible "sell out: and "uncle tom"
People like Parker make me sick because it perpetuates the stereotype that if you are black, speak well, get an education and don't shuck and jive in front of the camera......then you are somehow less black and "selling out"
This also goes to show how education has absolutely nothing to do with certain kinds of intelligence. The most educated people can hold the most extreme, or ignorant views. I believe Rob Parker is actually Columbia-educated, but I've always found him to be incredibly inarticulate, and the reasoning behind his opinions on sports issues to be cartoonish at best. This was just more of the same. He's a clown, as are the other regulars on "First Take." Skip Bayless' opinions are also devoid of reason. Stephen A. usually makes sense, but his rantings so hold you hostage that you tune out what he has to say. I immediately felt sorry for Cari Champion when she got this assignment, because it's on a strictly junior varsity show. It's where they stick either new hires to break in, or personalities that simply don't belong or fit on any of their better programs.
"THE CAUSE" is about not denying or running away from being Black, and understanding the responsibilities of projecting a strong positive Black male image within and to our communities, "reach one- teach one". If you dont undeerstand that, you either grew up in the suburbs or not Black and therefore you will never understand.
Rob could have said his point much more "P.C.", but we should not deny the premise of his opinion does have validity
no validity to your statement at all. The only "cause" i know is the one in which you want to make sure that your family is fed, safe and has a roof over their heads. BTW, I am black and grew up in Palmer Park....step lightly...because I can give out a "cornball butt kicking"!!!
@Livineasy Ok, but what does that have to do with him having a white fiance, or being a republican? Its one thing to say an individual needs to help the black community by being a positive role model, but its another thing to attempt to solely define him by the color of his skin, and to say that because of certain things (his political affiliations, his fiance's skin color) he is somehow less black. As far as I can tell, RGIII has been nothing but an exemplary role model to all young kids, and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin, or the color of theirs. Which is exactly how it should be.
I am a serious Redskins fan....and oh by-the-way I am Black...for the last Sixty-Five Years. Sadly, I have always believed that "Rob Parker" was a MORON...he has opened his mouth and REMOVED ALL DOUBT!!! Way to go ESPN!!!
It's funny how people want to redefine "racist" to mean anything offensive that is race-related. Kind of waters down the original meaning.
Here we go again!... What exactly does it mean to be "Black Enough in America today" as defined by folk who are people of color? Is it playing the blame game e.g. "why I did not do what I said I would do... Ooops "not my fault! ... or is this ESPN newsperson who seems to imply in his comments below about RGII that being "Smart (intelligent)," a good person, trustworthy, successful in this world today, good to his woman (regardless of her race or creed (belief system) or even the way she happens to wear their hair... is that what "Not Being Black Enough" means? or is it something else ... not really sure... but what is clear, in my opinion, is that not being "Black" enough is a phrase too often used to pick and choose what is and is not black enough based solely on physical attributes, characteristics or behavior (often bad)... which has nothing to do with weather a person of color displays real real Value-Based NEW WORLD qualities (that people can depend on and place their trust)... Attributes such as Character, integrity, and personal excellence!, someone who does what he say when no one is checking up on them (because it is the right thing to do... like our moms and dads did)..., or who has overcome the natural obstacles life throws at all of use, yet still, in spit of it obtains a position of success... on his or her own terms a true MAN...or in the case of a female a true WOMEN! I don't have the answers to some of the questions I pose I only hope the next generation of Black kids take the time to consider what being "Black Enough" really means to people of color ... it should mean a people with an attitude that "Success should be measured Not so much by the car you drive, type of hair you have, number of curse words you can say or number of folks you can beat up or kill, or how you speck or dress or who you date or marry or even the position you may obtain.... but "Being Black Enough" should be measured by the OBstacles that You have Overcome to become a "PERSON OF EXCELLENCE AND INTEGRITY" THAT'S WHAT "BEING BLACK ENOUGH SHOULD ONE DAY MEAN! Until them I applaud RGII for all he has accomplishment to date and those he will accomplish in the future as a person and as a MAN! YES! HE IS "BLACK ENOUGH" on all levels!
Parkers point's were so backward which sounded hateful and made no since what so ever. RG3 is a bright man and is way ahead of his time, nobody should be defined by race, but for who you are as a person.
So what if RG3 is married to a white women and is a republican? Parker thinks that if your black, you got to act a certain way? I'm tired of people like Parker who thinks so backward.
The writer asks: "Are we really making judgments and insinuations and raising speculation about people and their character based on how they wear their hair, who they marry, and what their political beliefs might be? Is this real life?"
There are no excuses for Rob Parker's comments. But the questions the writer asks can be answered with a collective YES. People criticize and make judgements about people based on their hair, whom they choose to date/marry and their political beliefs everyday. Just ask the meteorologist who just lost her job for defending her hair style to a viewer who criticized it on Facebook. While they may not say it publicly, as Parker did, there are many who share Parker's questions about Robert Griffin III being engaged to someone of a race other than his. Is it right? No. Is it reality? Yes. And, certainly, we all see who people are judged on a daily basis because of the political beliefs.
Rob Parkers comments on "First Take" were disturbing because in this day and age, you just don't expect to hear someone in that position make comments like that and not expect more than a few eyebrows to raise. I'm sure he knew exactly what he was doing. ESPN hired Parker for "First Take" because he can be outspoken with his opinions. The same goes for Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Parker just went too far and his suspension is appropriate pending further review.
Rob Parker is an honest man.
Unlike most of you, talking about racism but ignoring the fact that REDSKINS is a damn RACIST name!
We cannot prove "Redskin" is a racist term. If it was used as racist, it was used in the 1800s & it certainly isn't used as that today.
Besides that, according to the northern tribes, redskin means "Great Warrior"
@michaeltman83 Why they don't call it Negroeskins, or Paleskins then?
"according to the northern tribes, redskin means "Great Warrior" < what a load of bullshit.
@CarlosQC In 1933, we changed our name to the Redskins which was out of respect for native american head coach, William Henry Dietz. Look it up.
Rob Parker is a hack sports reporter and probably the most hated sports guy in Detroit. He has to be provocative to get ratings-- he is a bitter, venomous person who most have tuned out. I go to sporting events in Detroit and when he walks by NOBODY greets or acknowledges him except those who are paid to put up with him. A truly wretched individual.
Here is higher quality video of the incident (plus some of the other debate that followed): http://grabien.com/story.php?id=272
Where is the uproar over this? If the commentator was white, ESPN would be apologizing up and down, while firing said commentator.
Racism goes both ways - determining someone's "blackness" only perpetuates stereotypes and continues to divide this country based solely on someone's skin color.
Said Bob Marley: "Until a Man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes, everywhere is war!"
Bob Marley was quoting Haile Selassie I.And while I don't like Rob Parker's comments, I also find it funny how people want to redefine the word "racist" to mean anything offensive that is race related.
Typical black racist ....yup because white people are all angels.
When people have valid points to make they don't need to over generalize to make the point.
Wow somebody does not like black people.
(ahh sits and waits for reply full of cursing and name calling)
@mfisher5 @ShmeggleMarxist no color of people are all "angels". But if white people went around saying the things that guy said, but in reverse? Panties would be in all kinds of wads.
@mfisher5 @ShmeggleMarxist Not going to agree with "Typical". We all know that black people in general aren't like that. But I do believe we learned that Rob Barker has some type of racist streak in him. "The Cause"............i mean that was really bad what he said.
It's his point of view, even though it's backward. But if we want to move forward in this country, we got to leave people like Parker behind.
First Take could have done a segment on the NHL Lockout. Oh, I forgot. First Take dosen't consider hockey relevant.
They don't like RGIII because he is a great player who doesn't sound like he's from the hood. That's just not cool, man.
Charles Barkley was married to a white women and is a republican; does Rob Parker feel the same about Sir Charles? Is Rob Married to a Black Women? We know Stephen A. Smith is not. All the So-Called Brothers that call out otther brothers for not marrying Black women generally are not married to one either. Hmmm, why are you waiting - or do you have something to hide???????/
@rjcooljr No, and that's his point. I believe all players should be free to be who they are. Every successful black person shouldn't have to be "for the cause" by being successful they've done their part. Charles Barkley is willing to speak up and speak out and we've all heard him do so. Also Barkley WAS a Republican. He was willing to speak up about that. If the conversation Parker wanted to have was his comparison to the Barkley's in sports he obviously lacked the articulation to do so.
:"The Cause" is about not running away from being Black or the responsibilities of projecting a strong black image. What Parker said is not too far off from what most inner-city urban brothers and sisters think of those Blacks who "make it"- "get a white girl, a forget where you came from and the political strugles of your people" like an OJ or Barkley or Tiger.
You can't say the color of your skin doesnt matter in terms of how you are judged, it will always matter. That does not make you a racist, its just how it is
@Livineasy Um, actually....
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as...
Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.
So yeah, it's all racist.