ESPN contributor Rob Parker has been suspended by the cable channel indefinitely after he made comments about Robert Griffin III’s racial identity live on the air. The incident happened on Thursday during a segment of First Take, and it came in the midst of a discussion about the quarterback saying he didn’t want to be defined by being an African-American. Parker, an African-American himself, asked whether Griffin was “a brother or a cornball brother?” before launching into a rambling speech that touched on the star’s white fiancée, rumors he voted for Mitt Romney and Tiger Woods’ refusal to be called black.
You can take a look at a clip of what happened below…
I have no idea why the other people present didn’t interject and try to stop him from taking the rant as far as he did, but by the time it got to Stephen A Smith, the damage had clearly already been done. According to ESPN, the network is conducting a full review and will reevaluate Parker’s fate once the entire process is finished. Considering ESPN employees have been fired for saying far less, it’s probably going to be an uphill battle for him to keep his job.
Griffin hasn’t responded publically to the controversy, but the NFL Players Association did release a statement this afternoon. Here’s what executive director DeMaurice Smith had to say…
”Robert can certainly take care of himself. Nonetheless, I hope that our men and for that matter, my own kids, will never beg for authenticity from someone who can only talk about the things that other people have the courage to do. People need to be held accountable for the offensive things that they say."
Whether someone is black, white or anything in between, honesty, decency, integrity, courage and love are far more important than the color of their fiance’s skin or the political party they voted for.