He's demanding group solidarity with a successful quarterback because on his own, the reporter is nobody. Has anyone here ever heard of Parker before his comment? Does he have a job because of his merits, or because of a spoils system that rewards him for racial grievances? Without that racial solidarity, where would he be? Look at his career:
Originally Posted by Elspeth
- Parker, who is African American, is not shy to discuss the racial aspects of current sports events, such as the NBA off-court dress policy, or the lack of African Americans in NFL coaching positions. He penned a much-maligned column where he called Hank Aaron a "coward" for declining to attend when Barry Bonds would break the career home run record.
- In October 2008, Parker erroneously reported that Kirk Cousins, a quarterback for the Michigan State Spartans, was involved in a fight with members of the Michigan State hockey team. At the time of the fight, Cousins was at church with his parents. After being publicly reproved by head coach Mark Dantonio at his weekly news conference, Parker was suspended by The Detroit News for two weeks.
- On December 21, 2008, at a press conference following the Lions' 42–7 loss to the New Orleans Saints, during the Detroit Lions historic 0-16 season, Rob Parker caused some controversy when he addressed a question Lions head coach Rod Marinelli about Lions defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Marinelli's son-in-law, inquiring whether Marinelli wished that his daughter had "married a better defensive coordinator." The question was criticized as unprofessional and inappropriate. The next day, Parker wrote that the comment was "an attempt at humor" and not a malicious attack. Parker wrote no further columns forThe Detroit News, nor did he attend any press conferences, following the incident. On January 6, 2009, The Detroit News announced that Parker had resigned from the newspaper the previous week.
- On December 13, 2012, on the ESPN's First Take, the subject of Robert Griffin III came up and an answer Griffin gave at a press conference that happened on December 12. In the press conference, Griffin was asked about his race and being a quarterback in the NFL. Griffin stated, among other things: "“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin said. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I strive [for]. I am an African American, in America, and that will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.” This topic was then brought up on First Take when Rob Parker was asked, ‘What does this say about RGIII?” “This is an interesting topic,” Parker said. “For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don’t know who’s asking the questions, but we’ve heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people. I understand the whole story of I just want to be the best,” Parker continued. “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. “But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,” Parker went on. “And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?” ""Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother", and then proceeded to state Griffin wasn't "down with the cause." Other participants continued the conversation by asking Parker for further explanation:
Cari Champion: "What does that mean?" Skip Bayless: "Explain that." Parker: "He's not real. OK, he's black, he kind of does the thing, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black but he's not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he's off to something else." Champion: "Why is that your question?" Parker: "Well because that's just how I want to find out about him. I don't know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancee. There was all this talk about how he's a Republican, which, I don't really care, there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods was like, 'I've got black skin but don't call me black.'
Then Skip Bayless
asked Parker about RGIII’s braids. “Now that’s different,” Parker said. “To me, that’s very urban and makes you feel like…wearing braids, you’re a brother. You’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.” Later, Parker was given an opportunity to clarify whether he was judging Griffin’s blackness. “I didn’t mean it like that,” he said. “We could sit here and be honest, or we can be dishonest. And you can’t tell me that people in the barbershops or people that talk, they look at who your spouse is. They do. And they look at how you present yourself. People will say all the time, you’re not gonna get a job in corporate America wearing those braids. It happens all the time. Let’s not act like it doesn’t, because it does.”
Later that day, ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said that Parker's comments "were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps."
Parker is a huckster, a mediocrity whose career is full of gaffes, missteps and outright failures, and who appears to have advanced because of grievance politics. In this case, he's got a great player who doesn't want any part of the system that Parker depends upon for his livelyhood, so Parker went on the attack. It wasn't that Parker personally likes or dislikes the guy, it's that if people start judging others by how they perform, instead of their victim pedigree, Parker would be off the air in a second.