Green Room

Suspended ESPN analyst offers apology for RG3 comments

posted at 4:41 pm on December 19, 2012 by

ESPN is mum on what this means for his suspension or employment, but here’s Robert Parker’s statement:

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.

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Not good enough. He should be sleeping on a park bench by the end of the week. That’s how the left would want it if one of ours happened to utter one of their favorite “dog whistle” secret words of the day.

CurtZHP on December 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

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 love it. Typical lib.

“It’s not that I was wrong for calling on all blacks to vote democrat and not think for themselves anymore…I was just wrong to openly discuss it!”

It’d be funny if it weren’t so damaging.

CycloneCDB on December 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care.

If that is his starting point, he has a long way to go.
Athlete is athlete. If he thinks and comments on this as an issue, it will never go away.

Jabberwock on December 19, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I love it. Typical lib.

“It’s not that I was wrong for calling on all blacks to vote democrat and not think for themselves anymore…I was just wrong to openly discuss it!”

It’d be funny if it weren’t so damaging.

CycloneCDB on December 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

You beat me to it.

And the left gets away with this type of crap over and over and over.

ButterflyDragon on December 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

nice try, but his ass should still be fired for good.

gsherin on December 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

“I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

The Left has murdered King’s dream. Their existence ridicules it. They spit on his dream and dance on his grave.

God, how I hate the Left.

IronDioPriest on December 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

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.

What’s the difficult and important topic? Whether people should be treated as individuals and not be expected to behave a certain way because of their skin color?

I’m sure this guy is very confused, since this type of racism is widely accepted throughout the left, the Democrat party, and the black community. He just needs to be less honest and up-front about it.

RadClown on December 19, 2012 at 5:20 PM

If a white guy had made racist comments,an apology wouldn;t have been enough!This guy gets a pass?Sorry, but I will never watch this jerk again.

redware on December 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Thanks for putting this in the Green Room.

ESPN’s model, unfortunately, is to make their pundits the story rather than the athletes. When that’s the motive, there is no line between thoughtful analysis and shameless hackery.

If Rob Parker hit rock bottom, he can come back up, but it’s a long climb, and he’ll need to stay off ESPN.

22044 on December 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I wonder if Mr. Parker would ever care to expound upon the differences in the needs-to-be-met criteria for qualifying as a man for black American males and white American males.

Should he ever choose to do so, he might consider doing some research by taking a good, hard, long look in the mirror.

M240H on December 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care.

Just the opposite, actually. Most sports fans don’t care a whit about it anymore, they just want to see good clean entertainment. It’s only when some race baiter like Parker starts ranting that it becomes a self-inflicted issue. Parker’s a dinosaur and he doesn’t even realize it.

JeremiahJohnson on December 19, 2012 at 5:30 PM

It’s missing the phrase “sorry that I’m a racist”

Not-a-Marxist on December 19, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I don’t think he should have been suspended just like I don’t think Rush Limbaugh should have been suspended/fired. He should have been called out on air and forced to defend himself or elaborate on his thoughts further. We need to have this exposed in a very public way, not swept under the carpet.

This guy needs to be called out not just for what he said about an athlete, but about black Republicans as well. What if RG3 wasn’t an athlete, but just a Republican politician, would his apology still stand?

Daemonocracy on December 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM

What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket…

Galtian on December 19, 2012 at 5:54 PM

turned a productive conversation into a negative one

At no point was anything that you said or thought during that segment productive. I’d like to know what about his racist rant was productive? And when exactly did it turn from being productive to negative?

besser tot als rot on December 19, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on December 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

What if RG3 wasn’t an athlete, but just a Republican politician, would his apology still stand?

Daemonocracy on December 19, 2012 at 5:45 PM

No. He would be praised and the NYT would publish it. They did the equivalent just today.

besser tot als rot on December 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM

He was called out for it. By Stephen A Smith. It was a great response. Smith is pretty awesome on other subjects too.

Conservative4Ever on December 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

<strong

ESPN is a dumping ground for creeps like Parker, but his ass should be sent packing because he doesn`t have a clue.I gave him to much credit when I said he has an IQ of 60. He is without a doubt a black racist

HAGGS99 on December 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

And if you don`t like the term “black racist” shove it where the sun doesn`t shine, because that`s the reality and it`s high time people started calling it what it is

HAGGS99 on December 19, 2012 at 6:36 PM

I believe the intended topic is a worthy one.

This is the exact problem with this guy and his ilk.

It’s not a worthy topic to discuss. Nobody, apart from racists, care about the color of a sport’s players skin. Nobody, apart from racists, discuss the “blackness” of someone.

VinceOfDoom on December 19, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Suspension…?

I’m certainly no dittohead, but Rush was fired by ESPN for much milder comments.

itsnotaboutme on December 19, 2012 at 7:05 PM

turned a productive conversation into a negative one

What? The guy plays football and that’s all you should be discussing. The fact that he’s black is irrelevant to any “discussion”.

Discuss football as that is the only context that your job and his job have with respect to ESPN.

Liberals are morons always wanting “discussions” over issues that don’t need it.

kim roy on December 19, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I’m wondering how much respect for Robert Griffin III, or has learned, since he refers to him by his first name in such a familiar fashion after insulting the man in the most egregious and personal terms, especially given the fact that he’s never spoken directly to him and isn’t even personally acquainted with him, which was made apparent by his trying to go through Mr. Griffins agent to apologize.

thatsafactjack on December 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM

I don’t understand why his race is an issue, at all. A lot of African Americans have excelled in a variety of sports over the years…why does another, having a great rookie campaign, make an “impact”? The fact he can’t just be seen as a quarterback having a great year is sad.

changer1701 on December 19, 2012 at 7:24 PM

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 issue, Mr. Parker, is you continue to see everything in terms of race. Mr. Griffin has asked only that you judge him as a “quarterback”.

You have no right to ask Mr. Griffin to identify himself as you think. Mr. Griffin does not need your approval or comments. The fact that you think he does is reprehensible. You need reread Mr. King and stop categorizing everyone in terms of the color of their skin and demanding that they follow some Parker-approved race agenda/politics. Until you do sir, you are a race bigot. Until you do, ESPN should continue your suspension.

pnkearns on December 19, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Yup, the typical lefty non-apology: “I’m sorry I chose those particular words to smear him as an Uncle Tom”. Got to hell, whatever you name is. You are now a has-been, deservedly.

contrarian on December 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

I’m more interested in ESPN’s compare and contrast on why Rush had to go and Parker gets a time out.

Cindy Munford on December 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Racist.

Tim_CA on December 19, 2012 at 8:31 PM

A frosty cold mug of melena to you, Sir.

Mason on December 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

And the left gets away with this type of crap over and over and over.

ButterflyDragon on December 19, 2012 at 4:59 PM

And over and over and over and over and over and over.

John the Libertarian on December 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I’m “sorry”*†‡¹²³ (see footnotes)

Glenn Jericho on December 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care.

I never realized that race in sports ever was a relevant issue.

Glenn Jericho on December 19, 2012 at 10:56 PM

You know what? I forgive him. The world should have more color, not less. Rush should be able to say Donovan McNabb is overrated because he’s black without worrying that his contractor might cave in to the mob. Ann Coulter is one of my favorite authors, and just the mention of her incites the left. So let this guy have his say. I’d rather the left identify itself via putting their collective feet in their mouths, rather than posing as pragmatists, ala President Obama.

Afghan whig on December 20, 2012 at 12:21 AM

So there’s a productive way to say that being a Republican invalidates being black, and he ruined it by saying that cornrows un-cornball a brother.

The fact is that his screed was some racially-callous, that his attempt at an apology can be twisted in a hundred thousand different directions. I could fill pages of breaking down the percentages between being really black and being “not down with the Cause” based on what Parker said. He broke down so many stereotypical walls that I’m surprised he isn’t doing stand up with his act.

Sgt Steve on December 20, 2012 at 1:31 AM

One of the many problems with affirmative action racial hires is that they can’t embarrass their (racist dupe) bosses or the whole scam gets upset. This clown has been coddled for his stupid racial opinions (“keepin’ it real”) for so long that he thought that’s why they hired him…and has upset the scam.

And now he must go.

Jaibones on December 20, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Parker’s apology doesn’t change the fact that he is still a bigot, and a totalitarian one at that.

zoyclem on December 20, 2012 at 7:30 AM

I’m trying to think of a time when the term “cornball” and openly speculating about an athlete’s racial orientation would be appropriate for any conversation.

Parker clearly is a racist who outed himself. ESPN should terminate his employment because, frankly, there are plenty of people that could do his job who are not racist. And BTW, what is it with these jock reporters like Costas and Parker who think they are so intellectual they can carry off controversial subjects in a few minutes between sports-related programming?

Happy Nomad on December 20, 2012 at 7:52 AM

I never realized that race in sports ever was a relevant issue.

Glenn Jericho on December 19, 2012 at 10:56 PM

There are historical examples. A couple that come to mind are:

Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics. Four gold medals pretty much put a hole in the Nazi claims of racial superiority.

Jackie Robinson playing in the Major Leagues.

But some half-witted clown speculating about RGIII’s white fiance is not relevant under any circumstances. I wonder how Parker would feel if some pundit discussing this issue started in on talking about his spouse/significant other.

Happy Nomad on December 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM

TRANSLATION: I’m only sorry I’m suspended, I want my job back, I’m doing what ESPN says I should, and I think America is just stupid enough to buy it.

EdmundBurke247 on December 20, 2012 at 8:36 AM

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.

Shorter: I fully intend to continue to inject race into my show, but I’ll be a little smarter about it.

BobMbx on December 20, 2012 at 8:41 AM

As a football fan, I see a great football player. I notice that he is black but admire his ability as a football player first.

So Washington African American football fans watch their team and say, “He’s good, but I think he’s a Republican. Man, we can’t catch a break!”

I don’t think so.

Fact is, race baiters need race to be an issue or they become irrelevant and sometimes they step in it trying to create problems where there are none.

jjjdad on December 20, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Fact is, race baiters need race to be an issue or they become irrelevant and sometimes they step in it trying to create problems where there are none.

jjjdad on December 20, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Not an issue per se but blacks/AAs who don’t fit the liberal mold completely will be attacked for having left the leftist plantation. Clarence Thomas, Allen West, Herman Cain are among those who just were not “black enough” for the race industry. RGIII has the audacity to have come from an intact military family, have a white fiance, and has not claimed victimhood or acted like a street thug. Throw in innuendo that he might be a Republican and you can understand why racists like Parker feel the need to go on the attack.

Happy Nomad on December 20, 2012 at 8:59 AM

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.

One look around the NFL, its hangers-on, and the chattering class on ESPN and you can see quite clearly that this is not the way we are all taught. Dignity and respect are two qualities one would never associate with today’s football culture.

KGB on December 20, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Such ridiculousness happens on the left as well. Many moons ago, Husband and I were strolling through Hyde Park back in Sweet Home, Chicago. We stopped cold at a telephone pole flyer with a picture of a woman running for Alderman, below the words:
TALKS BLACK/SLEEPS WHITE (the latter referring to her Caucasian husband).

Whatever coward posted that was a total coward by not leaving a name, or saying whether they worked for the opposing campaign. I wonder if those offensive flyers had anything to do with that woman winning her City Council seat, which she held for the better part of two decades.

I forgive Mr. Parker. He, using his own name and face, brought out into the open one of our self-defeating slavery holdovers which, along with Good hair/Bad hair, Light skin/Dark skin, and scores of other antiquated cliches, belong in the dustbin of history.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 20, 2012 at 10:03 AM

From what I can tell, many people in the black community really do see absolutely everything in life through the lens of race. It’s sort of like many conservatives seeing everything through the lens of the Constitution, or of the Bible. It’s always a factor in your own thinking. You simply do not believe that it’s not at least occasionally a factor in everybody else’s heads, too. And you hit some very serious roadblocks in communication with other people who aren’t like that.

Not saying anything about right and wrong, here. Just commenting on the nature of tribal thought.

alwaysfiredup on December 20, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Typical Liberal “apology:” “I’m sorry you’re too stupid and unenlightened to understand what I am saying.”

joejmz on December 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM