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A few weeks ago, ESPN analyst Rob Parker wondered on air if Robert Griffin III is a “brother or a cornball brother.” From my point of view, he brought race into a discussion that did not require a racial element and he impugned RGIII’s authenticity. I mean, what is a real brother and what standard must RGIII live up to? He seems like a great guy to me and I don’t question his brotherness when I watch him play. ESPN sure thought Parker went too far and fired him today, a move with which I agree. To get some of the background on this delicate and, for me, uncomfortable issue, please click here.

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10 Comments

  1. Stan

    I could write a book here. First,his mistake wasn’t his point that he tried to make..It was the name calling “Cornhead brother” That crossed a line. Second,he also got into RG3′s interracial relationships. That’s a tricky,delicate area. Mostly in the realm of fame and fortune. I don’t know how many magazines point out wealthy men of color marry white woman,blonds…think Tiger. For most men,I don’t think its a issue at all…just as you go up the ladder. When the trophy isn’t your own ethnic type..some don’t like that-the message it sends to woman of color. And Rob Parker just blurted that thinking out loud.

    January 8th, 2013 6:08 pm

  2. MJ

    He wasn’t fired, his contract expired and wasn’t renewed, but all in the same.

    However, that whole segment was racial, it was another “black qb” discussion. But what Parker said didn’t seem to upset ESPN when they aired it live, re-aired it on the 2nd run through (the show airs back to back) and even aired it in their “Best of” segment later in the week. So ESPN are quite the hypocrite. Parkers’ problem was he isn’t Steven A Smith, who twice dropped the N word on that show, but claimed that he talks so fast that people mishear him. Laughable.

    That show itself is a joke. Skip Bayless had said, earlier this year, that black fans in DC will side with the black qb, and white fans will side with the white qb….but “I’m with the black qb”. Yet he still has a job.

    Is it worse to be racist or to be dumbing down the viewing audience? Either way all members of that show need to be given their walking papers.

    January 8th, 2013 6:21 pm

  3. B-Rad

    On a scale of 1-10 of denigrating, disparaging racist terms or phrases
    with ‘Washington Redskins” being a 10, I can’t work my indignity level
    up much past a 0 for a black guy calling another black guy ‘brother”,
    or a 1 for questioning whether he is a ‘cornball brother’.

    January 8th, 2013 6:46 pm

  4. Stan

    Also..Rob may have known-or had an inkling- back then ESPN wasn’t going to renew his contract.
    There are people who go out with that last verbal blast.

    It really seemed like he didn’t care what he said..and when you think of it..was he really all that angry over RG3?. Telling what he thought yes,but why?..just didn’t care.

    January 8th, 2013 7:18 pm

  5. lameduck

    I’d be uncomfortable too because it’s a fireable topic. I’d ask some questions but I don’t want you to post anything on the net that could cause issues.

    I also assume growing up in NY you understand the harm racial stereotyping causes.

    January 8th, 2013 8:23 pm

  6. Dennis

    Wow, a black guy getting fired for a racist remark. My, my, my. That has got to be a first. I thought it was impossible for a black guy to be a racist in this hyper PC world. I guess we are making progress.

    But I do have one question. Isn’t this the same thing Jesse Jackson said about Barrack Obama when he first ran for president? Something about him “not really being one of us” type of thing. Nobody called that a racial comment. So why now?

    January 8th, 2013 11:06 pm

  7. John Sousa

    B-Rad is totally on it. The name Redskins is disgraceful and it can’t be said enough. In fact, if I were a sportswriter I would write that every time I had to cover them. “The disgracefully named Redksins…” “RGIII, the gifted rookie quarterback for the disgracefully named Redskins…” “The Washington Redskins–owners of the most racist team name in Sports–lost to Seattle…” You get the idea. In 2013, how is that name okay? And don’t give me any of that, “It honors the native Americans” crap. No it doesn’t. It’s a reference to the scalps collected by white settlers to prove they killed the local Indians. It is flat out disgraceful. It’s like Christopher Hitchens once wrote, you can’t be afraid to bore people with the truth. Disgraceful disgraceful disgraceful.

    January 9th, 2013 5:42 am

  8. Steve

    It’s a shame, this guy is a complete tool but he unthinkingly brings up an issue that really needs airing out in this country.
    RG3 is a “cornball brother” because if he witnesses a serious crime in his neighborhood he will cooperate with the police.
    He’s a “cornball brother” because if he has a child, he will support that child financially and be in that child’s life.
    He’s a “cornball brother” because when he was in college he attended class.
    He’s a “cornball brother” because he isn’t completely self centered, considers others’ feelings, and takes responsibility for his mistakes.
    The attitude and beliefs of Parker are shared by too many in the black community, and a big reason for the lack of progress black folks have made in this country in the last 20-30 years, not to mention the problems of the inner cities.

    January 9th, 2013 10:56 am

  9. Raffaele

    While hardly the OED, the Urban Dictionary has this:

    n pl Cornball Brothers

    a. An African American male who chooses not to follow the stereotype. This includes, but is not limited to, being educated, well spoken, a role model, a leader, selfless, an upstanding member of the community and above all – humble.

    b. life choices include marrying white women, being republican, and not being “down with the cause”.

    c. a rare breed of African American males who should be praised, not chastised by their own race.

    d. a term where MLK would be rolling over his grave for

    That may fit Robert Griffin III but there is no doubt Parker intended to put a negative spin on his use of the term. Parker certainly was not portraying Griffin in a favorable way and I am glad he will no longer be at ESPN. My regret: that ESPN did not can Parker immediately.

    January 9th, 2013 11:24 am

  10. KauaiRobert

    I say this so rarely these days…
    .
    YAAAAAAAAAAAAY ESPN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    .
    Way to go guys!!!
    .
    .
    .
    ~ALOHA~

    January 9th, 2013 2:50 pm

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