Archive for December, 2012

ESPN and the race card

December 14, 2012

Full disclosure: I don’t watch ESPN’s “First Take.”

I’m probably not the demographic, so I doubt they’ve missed me.

But yesterday, panelist Rob Parker crossed a line with these comments on Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Here’s the transcript:

I talked to some people down in Washington, D.C. … friends of mine who are around 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? … He’s not really, he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one with us, he’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you want to hang out because he’s off to something else ….

I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fianceé, there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which 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 got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people got a little wondering about Tiger Woods ….

To me, [his braids are] very urban, and makes you feel like, I think you’d have a clean cut, if he were more straitlaced or not like, wearing braids, you’re a brother, you’re a brother if you’ve got braids on.

Now, I know that some people feel that this is a legitimate line of discourse, but for me, this crosses that line between controversial, edgy TV and out-and-out racism.

While ESPN has admitted that Parker’s comments were inappropriate, The same comments aired again Thursday afternoon in the rebroadcast and there is no sign of Parker on today’s show – or mention of his comments.

Personally, I expect better from a network that presents itself as a serious journalistic entity.

But then again, this is ESPN, so I’m expecting a week off (with pay) and a feeble apology from Parker sometime soon.

I’d love to start a boycott of ESPN, but who would I be kidding?

I’m going to watch the network anyway, which I means I play into ESPN’s notion that it is uncountable for the things it allows on its airwaves.

Seriously, sort it out four-letter.