*Rob Parker, the former ESPN reporter who infamously labeled Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a “cornbread brother,” has a new gig.
TheShadowLeague.com, founded by former Vibe publisher and ex-ESPN the Magazine executive Keith Clinkscales, announced today that Parker has been added to its roster and his first column will be published Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.
[(Hmmm, now we know how/why he got the job. ]
“There is no doubt that Rob’s love of sports permeates everything he does,” says TheShadowLeague.com Editor-in-Chief Vince Thomas. “We are truly excited that he has joined TheShadowLeague.com. Rob’s hard-hitting and honest opinions make him a standout sports columnist who can reach fans in print and online spaces, as well as radio and television.”
Before his somewhat ignominious downfall at the 4-letter network, Parker has enjoyed an illustrious career in sports journalism for more than twenty years. According to a press release sent to EURweb, the writer has broken many boundaries, garnering acclaim as the first black sports columnist in the newsrooms of the Detroit Free Press and Newsday. He is also a distinguished Baseball Hall of Fame voter. Additionally, Parker has written for the New Haven Register, the Detroit News and the New York Daily News. Most recently, Parker spent eight years with ESPN, debating hot topics on ESPN’s “FirstTake,” riding the airwaves of ESPN Radio and writing for the ESPN.com affiliate ESPN.com/NewYork.
“Voices like Parker’s are the reason why we launched TheShadowLeague.com,” said Keith Clinkscales, Founder & CEO of Shadow League Digital. “Rob clearly has passion. His experience and insight can help shape our voice.”
Based in Detroit, Parker is a native New Yorker who graduated with a B.S. in journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. He is also a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
*We guess Rob Parker likes the taste of his foot in his mouth.
The ESPN writer/commentator who was suspended for his not so smart, ok, dumb arse comments, about Robert Griffin 3rd‘s status as a black man, is at it again.
With a recent appearance on a community access show in Detroit called “Flashpoint,” Parker sort of apologizes for his comments, but mainly inserts his foot in his mouth again and blames ESPN “First Take” producers.
Parker said that despite the network’s shock, “First Take” producers knew what he was going to say about RG3 and allowed him to proceed.
“I mean, we had a discussion inside a pre-production meeting. ” Parker says in the interview. “And not every single word but they knew which way we were going. I think, it’s not just off the cuff, obviously.”
Parker also backed off his apology in a sense, saying that he never claimed he thought RGIII was a “cornball brother”, he was simply raising the question which therefore means he shouldn’t have received the backlash that he got from every human being on the planet.
“It was just 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 was about,” Parker said defensively. “We saw with OJ Simpson and some other people where they say, ‘I’m not black, I’m OJ.’ So it’s more about that, not about RG III and what’s going on. It’s more about this thing we’ve battled for years about why people have pushed away from their people.”
To cap things off, Parker not only basically rescinded his already half-ass apology, but he said everyone who reacted to his comments was out of line for being mad. In other words, don’t blame him.
“I mean looking back on some of the comments I can see where people can take it out of context and run with it,” Parker said. “But the response and what happened over the past 30 days with everything was just shocking.”
Oh yeah, Parker’s suspension is over in about a week, so get ready for more superb insight. Whoopee! Can’t wait.
*ESPN has given commentator Rob Parker a 30-day suspension for comments he made about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III during a Dec. 13 episode of “First Take.”
The suspension comes one day after Parker apologized for his remarks via Twitter.
On the show, he was discussing Griffin’s answer to a question about his role as an African-American quarterback, and Parker questioned Griffin’s “blackness,” citing that the player has a white fiancée and is rumored to be Republican.
Among his comments, Parker, who is black, said of Griffin: “He’s not one of us,” and “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?”
In his apology, Parker said he reached out to Griffin’s agent with the hope of apologizing to Griffin directly.
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry,” Parker posted on Twitter. “I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care.”
ESPN issued a statement today announcing the suspension.
“Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made,” said Marcia Keegan, vice president of production for ESPN who oversees “First Take.” “As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part. To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures.
“We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on ‘First Take,’ including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on ‘First Take.’ However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
According to reports, Rob reached out to RG3’s agent to apologize as well.
Read Rob Parker’s full apology via Twitter is below:
I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN’s reaction. Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught – with dignity, respect and pride. I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.
The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants. — Samuel Johnson
*Rob Parker has done it once again. For the layperson among you, Parker is a sports journalist who frequently appears on ESPN’s First Take and can often be seen debating Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith in moderately funny exchanges over pre-selected sports topics on 1st and 10.
To be certain, I have never been a fan of Rob Parker’s work based upon his professional reasoning on the shows, and in his other endeavors as well. For example, Parker once erroneously reported then Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins had gotten into a fight with the Michigan State hockey team, and I have seen him force race onto issues that had absolutely nothing to do with race more times than I have fingers.
His attempts at humor in the past have been so putrid in character and content that it almost got him fired from the Detroit News. Following a Lions’ 42-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints Parker asked what is quite possibly the most unprofessional question ever uttered by a member of the sports media when he said this to then head coach Rod Marinelli regarding son-in-law and defensive coordinator Joe Barry “Don’t you wish your daughter had married a better defensive coordinator.”
Watching this individual stumble, fumble and babble his way around 1st and 10 is the price one has to pay for actually liking the show’s concept and most of its content. Though he has graced the fine academic halls of Columbia University, one of if not the top J-school in the country, Parker has broken or attempted to bend several major ethics statutes held in high journalistic regard. The Lions “joke,” then there’s the Cousins lie, and one can’t forget the audacity of him calling Hank Aaron a coward for not attending the game in which Barry Bonds shattered his home run record. These actions and words are those of a man who has the potential to do and say anything to draw attention to himself. A journalist isn’t ever supposed to make the story about him or herself. Yet, Parker does this habitually.
Parker has little regard for those crushed beneath the wheels of the runaway train that is his career. Unfortunately being a total ass is likely protected by the Constitution of the United States because what he did December 13 was about as asinine as you can get. He insinuated that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffith III was a “corn ball brother” and “not real” based upon a statement he (Griffin) had made at a press conference the day before.
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I strive [for]. I am an African American, in America, and that will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”
When questioned further as to why the perfectly articulated statement of RG3 would bring his ire to rise by Skip Bayless et. al., Parker stumbled through his wording, perhaps realizing he had just stepped on a racial land mine of his own creation. Kaboom! There goes yet another hit to his credibility. “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…” What in all the hell is that supposed to mean? What about the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr? What about judging a man “(N)ot by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character”? Parker then was ignorant enough to admit that who Griffin was dating affected his opinion of him. Mr. Parker, what’s corny is a man who tries to squeeze every little non-existent drop of controversy out of a subject that he possibly can. Even if that means creating controversy solely for the sake of doing so. And it backfired on him yet again. Not unlike that silly Trix rabbit, some people just never learn. (Scroll down to watch Parker’s comments.)
So, Rob Parker, you’re now the King of Swag determining what’s cool and who “real” black guys would hang out with? The brothers I know wouldn’t hang out with someone with a nappy goatee and a hairline that looks deprived of a decade’s worth of edge ups. The brothers that I know don’t hang out with guys who wears suits that look purchased off a consignment shop rack, stuffed in a plastic bag and subsequently slept in prior to being worn on ESPN. All that ESPN money apparently isn’t good enough to buy him better duds. Perhaps Parker should let Stephen A. Smith teach him some fashion etiquette, but his journalism ethics would be another thing entirely. The nerve of him, a grown ass man, even verbalizing such a juvenile concept as what is “real.” Then he went on to further embarrass himself:
“There was all this talk about how he’s a Republican, which, I don’t really care, 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’ve got black skin but don’t call me black.”
If you don’t really care about the ‘Republican’ thing then why even breath life into it on national television? The Tiger Woods comparison is a farce all together in that while Robert Griffin III clearly identified himself as being African American, Tiger went the ‘caublanasian’ route to the chagrin of many in the African American community. How could you lump an individual who identifies with the community that spawned you in the same category as an individual who is on record as not identifying with the community? I wish I understood your reasoning on that. The only similarities between the two, in my opinion, are their command of the English language, relative to your lack there of.
Later on ya boy Rob Parker was given the opportunity to clarify his previous statements:
“I didn’t mean it like that,” he said when asked if he were questioning RG3′s ‘blackness’. “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.”
For him to reason upon what he assumes others are thinking is yet another example of his baffling journalistic incompetence. Though the hypothetical was vaguely implied his entire statement came off as nothing but opinion, and apparently his ESPN handlers feel the same way. ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys later said that Parker’s comments “were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.” Parker was suspended “until further notice” the following day. While I do not think Rob Parker should lose his job because of his actions I do believe a suspension is a fitting warning to Mr. Parker. Your First Amendment Rights cannot be limited by the Federal government or, as described by the 14 Amendment, the state. But as a cooperation ESPN doesn’t fall under either of those categories and can discipline employees as it sees fit. I’m sure Mr. Parker knew this before he kicked the door in on the racial argument yet again. If he did not then that’s all the more reason for him to be on a vacation even if only for having a short term memory problem.
EUR associate Ricardo Hazell is a journalist based in New York City. Contact him via: email@example.com
Rob Parker, the dude who made the head turning comments about Robert Griffin 3rd (RG3) being “kind of black” and “not one of us” has been suspended indefinitely by ESPN, according to the Washington Post.
(Watch Parker’s comments below.)
“Following yesterday’s comments Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said. “We are conducting a full review.”
On ESPN’s “First Take” Parker asked whether RGIII is “a brother, or is he a cornball brother? … He’s not real. 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 want to hang out with because he’s off to something else.”
Here’s what DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, told the Post via email:
“Robert can certainly take care of himself. Nonetheless, I hope that our men and for that matter, my own kids, will never beg for authenticity from someone who can only talk about the things that other people have the courage to do. People need to be held accountable for the offensive things that they say.”