News & Politics

Examining Rob Parker’s Idiot Comments About Robert Griffin III

The ESPN commentator’s remarks on the Redskins quarterback’s racial identity made national news this week.

Over the past week, Washington’s sports scene has been at the center of some national
media frenzy. 

Very little of the talk had anything to do with what
DC’s teams and players did on
the field. Rather, an idiot at ESPN decided to question

the racial identity of
Robert Griffin III and Griffin’s commitment to
a “cause.” The commentary was sad, simple, and stupid,
and it took place on a show that likes to “embrace debate.”
[Ed. note: Parker has
since been suspended for the remarks, according to

The entire discussion centered on a tired notion of
what constitutes appropriate behavior
for a young black athlete, and was featured on a show centered

on promoting invented controversies

The idiot that led the discussion,
Rob Parker, took issue with Griffin’s desire to become the best quarterback of all time. Parker
would prefer that Griffin want to be the best black quarterback of all time. Or something
like that.

“I understand the whole story of ‘I just want 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 [thinking] that,” Parker
said. “But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about

Parker wasn’t done making an ass of himself: “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really
the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.”

Parker went on to insult Griffin’s fiancée, who is white, and call RG3 a “cornball

The only thing we learned yesterday is that Parker is an idiot, while Griffin remained
comfortably above it all. He issued no response, and hours later put out a thank you
to all his supporters via Twitter.

Despite being a transparent attempt to promote his own
fledgling career

by insulting one of football’s brightest stars, combined with a
track record of attacking
public figures’ family members,
yesterday was nothing more than a reminder of Parker’s narrow
mind and antiquated
view points. 

Are there things about the black experience that I can’t understand as a 31-year-old
white male? Certainly. Is Griffin’s desire to be the best quarterback relevant to
that discussion? Absolutely not. 

Griffin is a stand-up young man, a brilliant football player, and an ideal role model
for the diverse Washington region. RG3 is our quarterback. No idiot, and no TV show,
can change that, and both should stop trying.

Instead of ginned-up racial turmoil, for the past week DC has been focused on the
health of Griffin’s knee. He took a nasty hit in the overtime win against the Ravens
last Sunday, and Griffin luckily got through the collision without any serious damage.

The question now turns to Cleveland, where the Redskins will play the Browns on Sunday.
Riding high on a four-game win streak, the Redskins are on the brink of the playoffs
for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Griffin’s starting status for the Cleveland
game will not be revealed until game time, and few outside of the Skins organization
truly know who will play quarterback.

Griffin and backup Kirk Cousins give the Skins a good chance to beat the Browns. Many
will look at the Browns’ 5-8 record and dismiss the Cleveland team, but that would
be short-sighted. The Browns are winners of three straight games, and the streak should be four games after a very competitive loss to the Cowboys in mid-November.

Regardless of who lines up under center, if the Redskins belong in the playoffs they
can prove it this week. It’s a classic trap game for an underachieving team, a typical
Redskins loss over the past 20 years.

These Redskins are no longer the typical tortured Washington franchise. In RG3, the
Skins have a leader that will not let himself, or his team, be put into any box—no
matter how many idiots try to put him in one.