RELATED STORY: RG3 Hater Rob Parker Suspended for ‘Not One of Us’ Comments
The comments were made by columnist Rob Parker, who was appearing on the morning show “First Take.” [Scroll down to watch.]
Griffin said in an interview published this week by USA Today that he didn’t want to be defined by the color of his skin. In discussing the issue of Griffin and race on ESPN2, Parker began by asking of Griffin: “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?”
When asked by others discussing the issue to explain, he went on to say: “Okay he’s black, he kind of does the 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…”
Parker later said: “We all know he has a white fiancée, then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information at all…”
Parker’s comments caused an immediately backlash around DC, even prompting councilmember and former mayor Marion Barry to speak out.
“I thought that we in the black community had gotten past that who’s black enough, who’s not black,” Barry told ABC7. “I thought that era was over with.”
“He’s an outstanding athlete,” Barry added later. “And it’s appalling that you have other black people talking like that.”
On Twitter Wednesday, Parker fired back at critics of his comments, and also received some support.
Meanwhile David Scott with ESPN public relations sent ABC7 a tweet that said: “The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”
Parker’s comments come about a day after Griffin told USA Today’s Jim Corbett that he doesn’t want to be defined by the color of his skin.
“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that,” Griffin told USA Today. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality.”
“I’m uncomfortable with where we just went,” Stephen A. Smith, the often outspoken co-host of “First Take,” said after a long hesitation following Parker’s comments. “It’s irrelevant; he can live his life any way he chooses. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those types of things.”
Watch the exchange on “First Take” below.
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