The ESPN commentator expresses regret for his on-air statement questioning RGIII’s blackness.
After a week of controversy over his remarks concerning Robert Griffin III, ESPN commentator Rob Parker has apologized for statements about the Washington Redskins quarterback.
Parker was suspended by ESPN for his comments on ESPN2's "First Take" about Griffin in which he questioned the quarterback’s “Blackness” as well as asking, “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?”
Parker’s on-air critique went even further. "We all know he has a white fiancée," the commentator said. "There was all this talk about he's a Republican, which, there's no information [about that] at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper as to 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.' So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on."
In a statement on Twitter, Parker offered a great deal of contrition.
"I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry,” he said. “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.”
He added, “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."
The tweet continued: "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."
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(Photo: Courtesy of ESPN)