Griffin’s father thinks Parker was just trying to “stir things up”

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Robert Griffin III has yet to specifically respond to Rob Parker’s bizarre rant regarding RG3’s refusal to be defined by his race.  Griffin’s father, however, has.

“He needs to define what ‘one of us’ is,” Robert Griffin Jr. told Jim Corbett of USA Today.  “That guy needs to define that.  I wouldn’t say it’s racism.  I would just say some people put things out there about people so they can 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 . . . so I don’t take offense.”

RG2 hit the nail on the head when he said “stir things up.”  Parker’s comments flowed directly from ESPN’s desire to “embrace debate” via the only aspect of the now-defunct Cold Pizza show that was even remotely interesting.

Comments like Parker’s don’t pop up out of thin air.  Every segment of First Take is planned, with producers finding topics on which the on-air personalities either genuinely disagree or can be coaxed into disagreeing.  As MDS pointed out last night, the segment in question started with RG3’s comments regarding his desire to not be identified by race.

The producers picked the subject.  The producers knew — or at least should have known — what Parker was going to say.  The entire excursion is a product of the format, which ESPN president John Skipper recently defended in an interview with SportsBusiness Journal.

It’s just another show,” Skipper said of First Take.  “It’s not journalism.  Nobody goes, ‘Gee, look how awful it is that CBS does these awful reality shows.  Doesn’t that taint their great news organization?’  We have seven networks.  There’s 8,760 hours per year.  We’re programming 50-60,000 hours per year. . . .  But people say, ‘Gee, that awful debate that you’re doing, how can the great SportsCenter coexist with the debate of First Take.  I don’t know, how do infomercials coexist with the great journalism they’re doing someplace else?”

First of all, when has anyone recently accused SportsCenter of being “great”?  Second, the CBS reality shows aren’t filmed on a set that looks a lot like the set of the CBS Evening News.  Third, Skipper has done quite well for himself, considering that he is unable to come up extemporaneously with any quality synonyms for the word “awful.”  Finally, infomercials rarely include content that the network later must acknowledge was inappropriate.

In this case, the level of premeditation was likely equivalent to an infomercial.  Acting on the mandate to “embrace debate,” the producers are as guilty as Parker for either letting him say what he said or failing to keep him from crossing the line.

Again.And the ultimate blame goes to the network that craves the ratings that come from playing with fire, but that lacks the ability to avoid getting periodically burned.

21 responses to “Griffin’s father thinks Parker was just trying to “stir things up”

  1. Well, at least ESPN immediately sprang into action by firing Parker, sending an apology to RGIII and his lovely fiance from the head of the network, and running a special on the matter-of-fact way in which people of all races and creeds now work together in the NFL to provide a better product to the fans and a good living to their families. Yes, things are going pretty well here on Alternate Dimension Earth #45. How have you guys been?

  2. I don’t care if Parker was just trying to stir things up or not. His comments were blatently racist and offensive. In the past, ESPN has moved swiftly and fired caucasian men for making racist comments. They need to do the same in this case, even though it’s a “black on black crime.” Taking it a step further, the person responsible for airing and then re-airing this segment should be fired as well.
    ESPN is turning into complete garbage. The only time I watch it is for MNF.

  3. Doesn’t matter if it’s journalism or not. The fact remains that if a white guy had said the same about a white player engages to a black woman it would be the headline on all major news networks for days. And the guy who said it would be fired before he left the building.

  4. I think jealousy on Parker’s part has a lot to do with it.

    Griffin is smart, articulate and very personable. he would succeed at many things based on these qualities.

    Parker probably got his job at ESPN because they wanted to fill their minority quota.

  5. parker was outta line,

    but there are black ppl who do view rg3 has kinda a sellout,

    white wife, republican , the way he talks, carries himself, broncos fan growing up,

    i know its crazy, but in society it exists,

  6. Great article, Florio. You hit the nail on the head. @And the ultimate blame goes to the network that craves the ratings that come from playing with fire, but that lacks the ability to avoid getting periodically burned.

    I had to go look up extemporaneously, but yes, BSPN has gone to stirring up things for no other reason than to stir up things, which is why I really only watch the network when a game is on. It used to be the only network I watched exeept when my favorite sitcoms were on, now it isn’t even in the rotation thanks to NFLN.

    Good riddance.

  7. Glad to see RGIII’s father speak out in behalf of his son. Now that’s what I call a supportive and caring father. RGIII has indeed been blessed with great parents. Their influence certainly has contributed to shaping him into not only a great football player but also a great person.

  8. This type story will continue to happen as it has been happening. With a president promoting hatred by race, age, income, religion. What else can be expected? I glad I didn’t vote for the most divisive president ever. I still have to suffer because of those who did.

  9. Well said article – Checking out the links you posted – looks like Parker has always been a “tool” (pun intended) used to get publicity – And let’s not let the producer off the hook either for his stupid excuse for programming by simply ignoring it now. Whether it was barber shop talk or not, you still have to ask was it appropriate and offensive to the listener and RG3. Defending his comments using more insults, well, Parker is the textbook definition of ignorant.

  10. Living in Washington I get to see and hear Griffin III frequently. Like every night on sports. He seems like a man with a lot of common sense ; it is obvious where he got it from. @footballady52. 🏉

  11. Shouldn’t who you vote for be based on which policies you support and not because one party had a black candidate?

    What’s more racist? The assumption that blacks should be Democrats or that a black Republican isn’t really “black?”

  12. So has Parkert ever blasted Warren Moon for putting up massive passing numbers and not scrambling/running enough because he’s black?

  13. Was he yelling it when he said it? Quite frankly, if he wasn’t yelling it, then he didn’t mean it. You have to scream your comments to be heard on any ESPN “program.” If he didn’t yell it, then, it’s equivalent to a “no comment.”

    My keyboard was yelling when I typed this, btw.

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