After ESPN released a statement calling analyst and columnist Rob Parker’s comments regarding Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s race “inappropriate,” the sports network has decided to suspend him “until further notice” and is “conducting a full review.” Parker referred to Griffin as a “cornball brother” after the quarterback said he does not want to be judged on the basis of his race. Parker went on to note disapprovingly that Griffin has a white fiancée and may be a Republican.
In the wake of his remarks, Parker showed little regret. Following the show, he retweeted Twitter followers who remarked approvingly of his comments and antagonized those who did not, calling them “uneducated.”
Griffin’s father told USA Today that although Parker “needs to define” his comments, he “wouldn’t say it’s racism” and attributed the analyst’s remarks to a desire to “stir things up.” “Robert is in really good shape on who he is, where he needs to get to in order to seek the goals he has in life,” Griffin said of his son.
Meanwhile, former NFL coach Tony Dungy said on Twitter that Parker “may have the worst commentary I have ever heard concerning Robert Griffin III. Not sure how ESPN can defend it!” The executive director of the NFL Players Association, DeMaurice Smith, also criticized Parker’s remarks, saying, “People need to be held accountable for the offensive things that they say.”
There’s been special interest in what action ESPN would take to address Parker’s remarks because, in 2003, Rush Limbaugh was pressured to resign from his analyst position at the network for comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb’s race.
— Andrew Johnson is an NRO intern.