ESPN host Rob Parker is the talk of the Internet following his analysis of Washington rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III as it pertains to the black community.
RGIII responded to a reporter's question on Wednesday by saying:
“I am [aware] of how race is relevant to [some fans]. I don’t ignore it,. I try not to be defined by it, but I understand different perspectives and how people view different things. So I understand they’re excited their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. So I understand that, and I appreciate them for being fans.”
Speaking on ESPN's "First Take," Parker -- who also is African-American -- said Thursday:
"This is an interesting topic. 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."
Added Parker: "My question which is just a straight honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?"
Asked to elaborate, Parker said: "I want to find out about him. I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. Then there was all this talk about him being a Republican, which there's no information [about that] at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue."
Stephen A. Smith, who was part of the discussion, tried to distance himself from Parker's words.
"Well first of all let me say this: I’m uncomfortable with where we just went,” Smith said. “RG III, the ethnicity, the color of his fiancée is none of our business. It’s irrelevant. He can live his life any way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that’s his business, that’s his life. I don’t judge someone’s blackness based on those kind of things. I just don’t do that. I’m not that kind of guy."
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys responded to media requests Thursday night by tweeting: "The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps."
Watch the video of Parker's comments, plus check out other stories and videos along with trivia and more, at Friday's Morning Mashup.
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