Suspended ESPNer Rob Parker is almost near the conclusion of his 30 day suspension for asking whether or not Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was a "cornball brother."
In a hometown interview with WDIV's Flashpoint (Parker has also written for WDIV's website, clickondetroit.com), Parker spoke publicly for the first time since the suspension with Devin Scillian Sunday morning. In the interview, Parker continued to dig a deeper hole around his comments questioning Robert Griffin III. You can watch the entire Parker interview at clickondetroit.com (the segment begins at the 2:45 mark), but here are the highlighted quotes from Parker:
Q: I know it has been a whirlwind of a month for you, can you believe where this all went?
Parker: "No, I can't believe it, looking back on some of the comments I can see where people would take it out of context with it and run with it, but the response and what happened over the past 30 days and everything was just shocking."
Q: Do you wish you hadn't said this or wish you said it differently?
Parker: "It was never to condemn the young man, RGIII is a great young man with a bright future. It was more about concerns, not condemning him."
(On his quotes delivering a bit of "truth serum"...)
Parker: "It was just a conversation that's had in the black community when athletes or famous entertainers or whatever push away from their people and that's really what it's about. You saw with O.J. Simpson and some other people when 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 on why people have pushed away."
(On ESPN's re-airing of Parker's controversial comments...)
Parker: "The people and the producers and everybody on the show, we just didn't think of it that way. We weren't trying to slam the kid, we were trying to be able to tackle these issues. The one thing I'm proud about being on that show, First Take, for the last six years is that we are willing to tackle a lot of stuff that most shows won't even touch or even discuss. I think it's important, I think we've done it in a really good way, but you know this is the first time we've been in hot water over dealing with such an issue."
Q: These shows often look very off-the-cuff, but you guys go through a lot of prep work on all these shows. Didn't everybody on the program know what you were going to say?
Parker: "We had a discussion inside, a pre-production meeting. Not every single word, but they knew which way we were going. It's just not off-the-cuff, obviously."
(On Parker questioning RGIII's blackness...)
Parker: "I wasn't saying that he wasn't black enough. When people say that, it's just not true. I was saying these are the conversations that take place once a guy pushes away. So it was never aimed at him or I was calling him that, I'm saying these are the conversations that take place.
It's incredible how little responsibility Parker takes for his own commentary. Let's watch the video again and see if the Vaudeville debate panelist was taken out of context or not...
Parker said: "My question, which is just a straight honest question - is he a brother or is he a cornball brother?"
How could Parker say Sunday that he didn't question whether RGIII was black enough? It's right there in the video tape. How could Parker believe that was taken out of context in the slightest? Furthermore, how could Parker think that implicating RGIII pushing away from the black community is going to make this situation better for him? If anything, the major takeaway from this Detroit interview is that Rob Parker hasn't really learned anything from his suspension. Surprise, surprise.
Also, it's clear from Parker's comments and ESPN's actions in suspending unnamed individuals behind the scenes that First Take producers were in on this sham from the beginning. Ever so slightly, Parker has pulled the curtain back on the "authentic" debate that takes place on First Take. Of course Parker's controversial comments weren't off-the-cuff, that's why they were aired in the first place. That's why Skip Bayless asked that bizarre question about RGIII's braids. That's why Parker's "cornball brother" question was re-aired. That's why ESPN had to publicly shame First Take with "increased editorial oversight" for their staged debate show.
When Parker returns to the airwaves, we'll see if that holds firm. I'm having my doubts.
(H/T Spin it Reacts)
Here is the problem with Parker...he is a SPORTS announcer not a social engineer. The comment about RGIII not being a real black is directed exclusively to a specific African American group. Can you imagine if a white sports caster was to refer to RGIII or Russell Wilson the same way as Parker did? If Mr. Parker wants to inject that type of rhetoric he may want to go to a Black only channel where his comments may better apppreciated by the majority of the public. Regardless I still think that his comments where geared to segregate more than unite Americans of all colors and race. I agree with his firing!
@CaptcrunchI thought 1st Take is part of the BET network. Skip is typiclly facing the majority of black viewpoints from black people. The modarator is black, Steven A. Smith, or George Jefferson, is black, 99% of the music is black rap artists etc...I personally don't appreciate how far ESPN is pushing the position to elevate black people. What about the views of asians, hispanics etc. I don't get it. Black people are 8-9% of the US population, however, thegroup of Americans seem to dominate ESPN's 1st Take show. Perhaps I'm just confused as to the motives of the producrs. Also, if anyone can answer for me why black people insist on referring to themselves as African Americans I would apprecate the lesson. All black people are not from Africa. Are they? Some are from the Islands and some were here in North and South America way before 1492. The one thing I do agree with in this piece is that 1st Take do attempt to handle race discussions. If this is Mr parkers 1st offensive commentsthen I don't not think he should be fired. He should be suspended and fined. If however this is typical for his on-air behaviour than he should have his ESPN card revoked. 1st Take is a sports show, lets stick to that subject matter and have some fun. I love the dynamic interaction between Skip and Stevenan base A., I don't know their ratings or daily fan base, but, I'll keep watching. I have sent in several emails to the producers requesting they add a segment featuring fans from competing teams. Lets bring 1st Take to the next level! peace Dan
The good that comes out of this is that we're talking about something that needs to be talked about. What does it mean to be black? What does it mean to be white in America? Deep down, we all know what we're talking about. We all know there's a "problem" in our history as Americans and that when the term "race" comes up, there is a strong reaction. Everyone has to decide for themselves how they are going to react: ignore it, be defensive about it, offensive about it, try to explain it away. But it's still there, every time blacks and whites occupy the same space, waiting to be dealt with. The question is: what are we going to DO about it? What am I, on a personal level, going to do when the issue comes up and I have to make a decision that can help someone of another race or hurt someone of another race. That's what counts. We can talk all day long, but it's our actions that define us when it comes to race. RGIIIs actions show acceptance. What do your actions show?
@JamesKilkenny Some people have taken my point in the opposite direction from my intention. They are misreading the message. This is not La La land we live in; let's be real. True change comes from within; as long as each culture holds on to its own accepted differences and perceptions of what that means to be of that culture, particles of that racism will continue. Parker is proof of that; he was saying things he believed to be relevant to his racial perception. Simple as that.
NJSACKMAN: WE KNOW WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE, WHY MSNBC?IF ANYONE THINK THESE CONVERSATIONS DON"T TAKE PLACE EVERY DAY YOU PROBABLE THOUGHT MITT ROMNEY WILL DEFEAT PRESIDENT OBAMA
@thethruth HEY you USEFUL IDIOT LIB...THE COMMUNIST/SOCIALIST who teach the kids in public schools, public unions, liberal blacks & hispanics, all u "give me a hand out" people, hollywood, college professors & DEMOCRAPS have defeated America obama is just another useful idiot looking to take down capitalism & our free market system along with our rights, Religion/constitution...HOPE TO SEE U PUNKS IN THE STREETS...SOON!
this guy is a straight racist...look what rush limbaugh said about mcnabb...then got fired, what he said wasn't racist & turned out to be the truth, this rob guy should find work in the black cacaus as a ignorant racist...
@njsackman Ok lemme get this straight...Rush Limbaugh is NOT a racist, but Rob Parker and the ENTIRE Black Congressional Caucus are...is that about the gist of what you're saying...ok got it.
@JamesKilkenny hey dopy liberal what did Rush say about mcnabb that was racist while working for espn that got him fired???, the black cacauss is not racist, rob parker is not racist? u libs are the most ignorant dopes around!!! USEFUL IDIOTS!
It was wrong to begin with, because he had no idea what RGlll was like. Bringing his fiance' in, because she was white, could be considered reverse discrimination and if situations were reversed, we know what would have happened if that were said by a white sportscaster. No suspension, fired immediately. Parker should be in Podunk, Iowa where no one can hear his racist spews, although he probably didn't learn anything from this experience.The bottom line, say anything you want about Bin Laden, Hitler, etc.because of their established evil. Don't think you can say anything about a 23 year old athlete, who is extremely talented, liked by the fans, may represent or become a role model in the future, and is a decent guy if you ever heard his interviews. You have a lot to learn, Parker, but it may be too late.
Why is it an offensive situation when a "black" person wishes to identify themselves with other attributes than being "black"? Why is it even considered "pushing away from their people" when icons desire to be individuals? If a caucasian chooses to proudly identify with being caucasian, they are more or less considered to hold some sort of racist mentality, but if black people wish to defer themselves from any sort of ethnic grouping, they are deserters. The media needs to pick exactly what is "offensive" to the masses, because at this point, no one is ahead.
I have watched first take and it's filled with asshole commentators like Parker, Stephen A and that stupid argumentative white chucklehead that is always on. Best bet is for ESPN to fire all those morons. How people watch this stuff daily is beyond me. It's numbing and serves little purpose.
Rob Parker is a complete asswipe. Why should every black woman or black man live their lives being a color? This has almost crippled the black community. That and clowns like Al(not to)Sharpton and Jesse (resident pimp) Jackson. When i watched Rob Parker's rant about RG3, i almost wanted to opt out of my "blackness"....
Is he saying RG3 should speak uneducated and be a gang banger to give him street cred in the hood? Is this the kind of human being RG3 should be? Maybe RG3 didnt grow up like that. Such a racists, Uncle Tom, black on black verbal crime to say about a great young man.
@actiongreen827 Mr. Parker want's to drag RGIII down to the "gang banger" level of streets Blacks in order to justify his race. The man can be educated, care for his family be a great athlete and still be Black. Not just Black but an example to all youngsters that admire and hold athletes as role models.
Rob Parker's pants have to be on fire. He's trying to CYA and fails miserably. A journalist saying his words were "taken out of context.'' PRICELESS!!!!!!!
This "brotha" needs to STFU. I get his point about the barbershop discussion- it does happen. I've heard conversations like these about athletes, actors, politicians etc, in the hood but this guy needs to take his medicine and chill. I think its obvious the only reason he did not get bounced for good is that the discussion was vetted and prepped in the pre-production meeting and it wasn't just him running his mouth off the cuff. Seems like the only time he's not shooting himself in the foot is when he's loading the gun
What is shocking, is that people are shocked. Rob Parker didn't say anything that a lot of African Americans don't already think and believe. It sounds offensive to our ears because we can't relate to the black experience. The racism that partly exists in our world is perpetuated because of the cultural beliefs and experience of each individual race, whether Hispanic, Asian, Black and the like. When this part of race ideology vanishes so will a lot of the issues related to racism in our society.
@JohnMartin4 lol! its called bias, counter racism...smarten-up!
@njsackman Call it what you want, they are just labels to disguise the fact that this type of thinking still exists. The point that is being made that as long as they do; so will racism. Each culture must check within themselves first. Not that hard to understand, is it?
What are you talking about black experience? You sound like Parker man. How about a human experience? Maybe you should look inside yourself homeboy before you start spouting off stupid "I want to look like I can relate" crap. Everyone can relate somehow someway. You do not have to have a so-called, "Black Experience."
@E52 @JohnMartin4 We all have similar human experiences due our humanity but if you want to ignore the cultural or racial differences that still exist, that's up to you. What I stated is that until the racial ideology perpetuated by each individual race still exist, so will the real racism. I have no interest in trying to relate or understand each racial idiosyncrasy. You've got your own and I have mine that is the way of the world today. All Parker was saying, right or wrong, was RG3 appeared to be denying his.
@JohnMartin4 @RealityCheck13 NO! Another unemployed Sports analyst that used his position to try a little social engineering. It's a FREAKING SPORTS SHOW. Tell me about RGII 's athleticism or his bum knee or something to do with performance...I personally don't give a crap if he goes out with a white woman or one that may be taller than him. That must be a Black thing and I wasn't watching The Black Cahnnel.
@JohnMartin4 Well at least "a lot of African Americans' have you to speak for them and let us know what they're all thinking, right? You are part of the problem.
Rob Parker is a severely dumb individual. I doubt he even knows what the phrase "taken out of context" even means.