Robert Griffin III refuses to be defined by race
Jim Corbett, USA TODAY Sports
10:48PM EST December 12. 2012 - ASHBURN, Va. -- Robert Griffin III has always seen the entire field with his beyond-his-years clarity.
That aplomb was evident again Wednesday when the charismatic Redskins rookie refused to be defined by race in answering three questions relating to the topic at the end of his news conference.
RGIII: Redskins QB looks ready
Griffin acknowledged his appreciation for black Washington Redskins fans proud of his transformative debut season -- and noted how he hopes to erase lingering stereotypes concerning African-American quarterbacks.
"For me, you don't ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,'' Griffin said at the end of Wednesday's post-practice news conference in reference to a question about Martin Luther King, Jr. "You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That's what I've tried to go out and do.
"I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that.''
The league's highest-rated passer, who has led the 7-6 Redskins into postseason contention with 10 of his 18 touchdowns thrown during a four-game win streak, said he is aware of why so many black Redskins fans take reflected pride in his success.
"I am aware how much race is relevant to them,'' RGIII said. "I don't ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different persectives and how people view different things. I understand that they're excited that their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. I understand that. I appreciate them for being fans and not just fans because they're African-Americans.''