ESPN Host Rob Parker’s initial comments about Redskin’s player RG3 that earned him a month’s suspension from ESPN: “…But for me personally, just me: This throws up a red flag when I keep hearing — and I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people. I understand the whole story of, “I just wants to be the best” Nobody’s out on the field saying to themselves, “I want to be the best black quarterback” You’re just playing football, right? You want to be the best. You want to throw the most touchdowns and have the most yards and win the most games. Nobody is doing that. But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him. I talked to some people down in Washington, D.C. … but my question, which is just a straight, honest question, is he a brother or is he a cornball brother? …
Well, he’s not really. Ok, he’s black, he does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you really want to hang out with because he’s off to something else … That’s just all I want to find out about him. I don’t know because I keep thearg these things. We all know he has a white fiancee and there’s talk about that he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.
Rob Parker spoke with a local Detroit station on Sunday and explained his comments
“It’s a conversation that’s had in the black community when athletes or famous entertainers or whatever push away from their people and that’s really what it’s about… I think the producers and everybody on the show didn’t think of it that way. We weren’t trying to slam the kid, we were trying to tackle these issues. One thing I’m proud of being on the show, First Take, for the last six years, we’re willing to tackle a lot of stuff that most shows won’t touch or discuss and I think it’s important, i think we’ve done it in a really good way, you know? … We had a discussion in pre-production, not every word, but they knew where we were going and it’s not off the cuff.
It’s still around and people still tal about it, maybe not always in public. It’s still an issue and just like you talked about, if you listen to sports talk radio, you hear a lot of it…”