Rob Parker questions blackness of Robert Griffin III
I watched ESPN First Take this morning.
I heard what Rob Parker said in regards to Robert Griffin III, but I didn’t let it marinate because I’ve heard him articulate himself in controversial ways on previous occasions.
Fast forward through the day, and Rob Parker still has sports chat across the nation buzzing.
Let me try and lay it out a little. Wednesday, RG3 was quoted by USA Today as saying…
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.
.and he was also quoted a saying…
I am aware how much race is relevant to them,” RGIII said. “I don’t ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different persectives and how people view different things. I understand that they’re excited that their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. I understand that. I appreciate them for being fans and not just fans because they’re African-Americans.
So, this morning on First Take, as the topic was raised by host Cari Champion, Rob Parker questioned whether RG3 was a “brother” or a “cornball brother” which in and of itself is hilarious as Rob Parker kinda fits the cornball mold himself.
Here’s the exchange…
Ok. This is ridiculous and I think Stephen A. Smith quietly died inside.
Rob Parker is catching bricks on Twitter (where he is trending) and Facebook and ESPN has admitted Parker’s comments were “inappropriate.” I’m sure their Public Relations department is working overtime.
Over at Jocks and Stiletto Jill, I read a comment that said RG3 was an “Uncle Tom.” This is far-fetched. Robert Griffin III is not an Uncle Tom, and I am not an apologist. I do believe, however, Griffin III is not what the black collective seeks in their star athletes — that being full of “swag”, with some bravado and edge and a sense of loyalty to the hood and not too much sellout, but enough not to embarrass us. RG3 is setting the tone for how he wants to be viewed. He wants to be accepted for who he is — a human being, clearly self-defined.
Yes, he dates a white woman, whose name is really Becky. For those who are unaware, “Becky’ is a name some black folks use when referring to white women. Its a generalization. When black men of influence (especially our athletes) date white women it causes discourse.
In RG3’s case, though, Rebecca Liddicoat was his college sweetheart and is his fiancée. She is the woman he loves and the woman he plans to spend the rest of his life with. She is his “ride or die chick” and she might even be the one who braids his hair!
Listen, I don’t think Parker meant any harm, he was posing a question, but he was not as eloquent as he could have been. He is for his people. We need plenty of that, trust me, but he made a huge misstep here. Tomorrow, we will likely see an on-air apology from him (which I don’t think he should have to make, should he have to make it).
At the end of the day, Redskins fans and fans of RG3 want to see Griffin III succeed as a quarterback, they don’t care that he might be a Republican. They want to see him win on and off the field, I believe, because he’s likable, he’s one of the new kids on the block, and he is playing damn good football.
Shht, fans just want to know if he is going to play this weekend after that scary knee injury.
Let’s wish him well, and wish he and Becky well, and keep it moving.