ESPN Panel Explores Robert Griffin’s Blackness and Whether He Is A “Cornball Brother”

rob-parker250px-Rg3_redskinsCable programming today often seems to cater to race-baiting or race-loaded interviews from the left. Whether it is Toure challenging the ability of white journalists to understand the Martin murder or anchors questioning the “blackness” of African-American Republicans, it has become weirdly acceptable to discuss the “blackness” of celebrities. Now ESPN allowed a panelist to explore the blackness of Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III with columnist and ESPN analyst Rob Parker insisting, “my question, which is just a straight honest question, is [Griffin] a brother, or is he a cornball brother?” Parker then brought up that Griffin has a white fiancée and could be a Republican as raising such troubling questions of blackness. The anchor then followed up with another African American panelist who wisely demurred at the question.

While I am a Bears fan, I have a great deal of respect for Robert Griffin III. That respect goes beyond is amazing athletic abilities. I have a number of friends who have run into Griffin with their kids. On every occasion, Griffin was an incredible gentleman and role model. In one case, my friend and her young son were at a swimming pool at a hotel when Griffin and his fiancée appeared. Griffin proceeded to spend 15 minutes throwing a ball with her son who was about to burst with excitement. He is, to put it simply, clearly a good man and not just a great football player.

Parker was entirely comfortable holding forth on what constitutes genuine blackness. He explains that “I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican.”here is the exchange:

Rob Parker: “But my question, which is just a straight, honest question, is: Is he a brother or is he a cornball brother?”

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 fiancée. 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.”

While ESPN deals with the backlash and expresses concern, this is a problem across the cable news system where networks routinely get a “black perspective” from commentators and reporters who raise “questions” about the blackness of celebrities and politicians.

In this case, Parker’s concern is heightened by the race of Griffin’s fiancée and that fact that he might be a Republican while adding that of course “there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue.” The “issue” appears to be a black man who would vote Republican.

Source: USA Today

34 thoughts on “ESPN Panel Explores Robert Griffin’s Blackness and Whether He Is A “Cornball Brother””

  1. So what if he is a Republican and has a white finacee. He can choose to vote anyway he wants and date/marry anyone he wants. Those who say he is dumb for being Republican are just perpetuating these evil comments made against him. That does not change his race, and why are we discussing someone blackness anyway? What does that have to do with football or anything else?

  2. “I disagree with Republican ideology but I never think someone’s not Black because they’re Republican. ” Toure

  3. “Balanced 1, December 14, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Parker’s comments suggest gross racism.”

    IS there any other kind?

  4. If some red-neck Tea Partier accused me of not being white because in my business I primarilly represent minorities and spend a good deal of my time trying to expose white cops as liars, or due to the fact that my wife is Puerto Rican, or due to the fact that I voted for Obama, we would call him an idiot and a racist. If this person made this moronic observation while doing his job as a television reporter he would loose his job (unless he worked at Fox). Suggesting that RG3 or Herman Cain aren’t black is nonsense. It is kind of funny that RG3 plays for the “Red Skins”.

  5. This racie baiting is not just from the left. You want race baiting and racism you need look no further then the election just passed. Put the white back in the white house, hanging the president/empty chairs in effigy, and so on. I find that the professor seems to be haranging a lot more against Obama, this administration, and the left.
    I dont know what a cornbread brother is. A racist question is a racisdt question. I do find it interesting that it seems to be a defense of this man when Professor Turley expounds on what a good guy he is. On my first reading (I have not done a second I admit) It came across to me as a “my best friend is (black, jewish, asian, etc.)
    Whether from the right or the left racist comments and questions one would hope would have been relegated to the past.

  6. If you are beakin bread with another brother you should not be castigated, whatever that means, just because the bread is cornbread. Soledad’s series on CNN was rather goofy. I guess if my folks named me after a prison I would be a bit strange.

  7. but one doesnt hear those types of comments on fox news. fox news has many black reporters and black guests, the guests are from both sides of the political spectrum.

    In fact Juan Williams is a regular pundit on fox news shows and was employed by fox news after he was fired by pbs.

  8. I don’t watch football, so I actually never heard of Robert Griffin until today. I find Mr. Parker’s (whom I’ve also never heard of) comments to be overtly racist. As I recall Dr. King’s dream it was that blacks would be assimilated into American society and culture, not segregated from it either by outside forces or from within the black community. Being a black Republican is no more or less a twisted world view than it is for a white Republican. Also, having a love interest of a different race should be a non-issue in a country that has reelected Barack Obama. Actually, Mr. Parker’s comments sound more like something one might hear on Fox News than anything a black man should be saying about another.

  9. this is excellent.
    the next discussion will be about ‘human-ness’ and “is this guy for really an animalistic arms dealing war mongering oil manipulating Bainboy orcish vile and violent animal bro or is it just another wimpy whoville human in disguise????!”

    that’s the one I’m hoping to see. Racism is long done. What we are seeing now is nothing but a shedding of the old cells (and it doesn’t matter what color they were to begin with….racism is racism…)….the next conversation is better!

  10. Robert Griffin’s Blackness, who cares and he can date all the white women his little heard desires. He’s a non factor!

  11. There are many false molecules in the air we breath. The powerful ones get in the bloodstream and enter the brain.
    I have stood on two occasions in a maternity ward and beamed at my newborn daughters. Then I beamed at their newborn roommates, While standing next to other beaming Fathers and relatives. There is no color barriers between 8 hour old babies, nor did one exist between the Joyous Fathers. WTF.
    Racists spend their efforts justifying the infection of their brain. Racists want to share and spread their infection. WTF.

    Skin color is skin color, nothing more. The racism disease is human created, promoted, and too often accepted.
    It is nothing more than ignorance and hate being used to unite people in a common bond of ignorance and hate.
    This a tragic fatal human disease. It is wonderful and healing to cure it within ones self.

  12. and Mr. Griffen says he wants to be the best quarterback in the league, not the best African American quarterback in the league.


    Why is it that so many people are worried about how black or white someone is and not how human?

    I guess if I had married the woman of color I dated in college, I wouldnt be white enough? WTF?

    Fire that ignorant a$$ wipe Parker.

    But this expected due to the tribal mentality that collectivism breeds.

  13. What is “the cause?” Is the cause forcing fellow black man to support the Democratic Party and to stay away from white women? Call up the Klan, that was pretty much their mantra for a hundred years. Time to get back to MLK’s mantra of judging people by the content of their character.

  14. I never watch those sports opinion programs on any of the networks, much less ESPN. First of all, their opinions are no better than any average person who reads the sports pages. Second, I could care less what some retired jock or coach says about players or teams. On the other hand, when I do hear some of the stupid comments made by some of them, it is worth this:

  15. “The “issue” appears to be a black man who would vote Republican.”


    I think the issue should be why a sane and honorable person would vote Republican these days.

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