ESPN’s Rob Parker dropped a bombshell today when he called NFL rookie star and MVP candidate Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a “cornball brother.” That means, according to Parker, that RGIII isn’t a real black person, and that he might not be “one of us” or “down for the cause.”
What was his justification? RGIII is engaged to a white woman, and could be a Republican.
Here’s the transcript:
I talked to some people down in Washington, D.C. … friends of mine who are around at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question, is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother? … He’s not really, he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one with us, he’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you want to hang out because he’s off to something else ….
I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée, there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people got a little wondering about Tiger Woods ….
To me, [his braids are] very urban, and makes you feel like, I think you’d have a clean cut, if he were more straitlaced or not like, wearing braids, you’re a brother, you’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.
Steven A. Smith followed that up with, “I’m uncomfortable with where we just went.” He should be. This is the vilest type of racial stereotyping. If he has braids, he’s black. If he has a white girlfriend, he’s not. If he votes Republican, he’s not. But if he voted for Obama, he presumably would be.
All of this was in response to RGIII’s comments that “For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. 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.”
He continued, “"I am aware how much race is relevant to [black Redskins fans]. I don't ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different perspectives 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.''