Washington Redskin Quarterback Robert Griffin III, a contender for the NFL Rookie of the Year Award, found himself in the spotlight yesterday for something other than his phenomenal running and passing abilities. It seems Sports Commentator Rob Parker, a contributor for ESPN’s “First Take” morning show and who is black like RGIII, doesn’t feel Griffin holds the right ideals for a black athlete:
Parker was providing commentary on a USA Today article featuring RGIII. In this article, Griffin has the audacity to imply he prefers to be defined by his greatness as an athlete and a person, and not his race; an implication Parker apparently took umbrage with. Some of the “controversial” comments of RGIII were:
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said at the end of Wednesday’s post-practice news conference in reference to a question about Martin Luther King, Jr. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I’ve tried to go out and do.
“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”
Griffin insists he wants to be judged as a quarterback. Period.
“We always try to find similarities in life, no matter what it is so they’re always going to try to put you in a box with other African-American quarterbacks — (Michael) Vick, (Cam) Newton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon,” Griffin said. “Warren Moon and Doug Williams really didn’t run that much. That’s the negative stereotype when it comes to African-American quarterbacks, that most of us just run. Those guys threw it around. I like to think I can throw it around a little bit.
“That’s the goal. Just to go out and not try to prove anybody wrong but just let your talents speak for themselves.”
When appearing on “First Take”, Parker took what amounted to some very distasteful shots at RGIII
Rob Parker, a contributor for ESPN’s “First Take” morning show, questioned Griffin’s standing as a black man, asking whether the quarterback was a “cornball brother,” and later saying that the black quarterback is “not one of us.”
“He’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause; he’s not one of us,” Parker said this morning. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the kind of guy you want to hang out with cause he’s off to something else.”
Parker also questioned the “blackness” of RGIII due to Griffin having a white fiance, and possibly being a Republican. These shots have rightfully led to the suspension of Parker by ESPN pending what spokesman Mike Soltys called via Twitter a “full review”.
The comments were despicable to say the least, and lets be honest — had they been said by a conservative-leaning commentator, that commentator would be without a job today. But they are also comments we have grown to expect from the left, whether race is the issue or as Rob wrote yesterday — gender.