On Friday, ESPN suspended commentator Rob Parker “until further notice” for calling Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is African-American, a “cornball brother” because Griffin has a white fiancee and may be a Republican.
“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” announced ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz. “We are conducting a full review.”
On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” Parker suggested Griffin, the star rookie Redskins signal caller from Baylor, was insufficiently black and may not be “one of us” or “down for the cause” because of the color of his fiancee’s skin and his rumored political views.
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.
Later on the program, when Parker was given a chance to clarify his “cornball brother” comments were meant to judge Griffin’s blackness, Parker said he “didn’t mean it like that” before again commenting on Griffin’s white fiancee:
I didn’t mean it like that… We could sit here and be honest, or we can be dishonest. And you can’t tell me that people in the barbershops or people that talk, they look at who your spouse is. They do. And they look at how you present yourself.