Rob Parker on RG3 comments: “I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry”
Last Thursday, while on ESPN’s First Take, columnist Rob Parker said Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was “black, but he’s not really,” because Griffin is engaged to a white woman. The company went on to suspend Parker “until further notice” on Friday.
In the aftermath of his comments, Parker defended his position and criticized the critics as “silly” and “uneducated”.
Nearly a week later, after some time to reflect on his comments, Parker issued a statement via his Twitter today.
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry,” Parker wrote. “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.”
While ESPN has yet to announce when, if ever, Parker will be reinstated, it is interesting to see that he has apologized. I, for one, am not buying his apology. Seems like he only issued the apology after realizing he was fighting a losing battle. If he was truly sorry, he would have issued this the following day.
In my opinion, Parker’s feelings go deeper than just mis-speaking and says something about Parker’s character.