ESPN’s Rob Parker has ignited a serious discussion of the changing views of race when he called Washington redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a “cornball brother.”
Parker, who is the host of ESPN’s “First Take,” called RGIII out because he feels the football star is “distancing himself from his black people.” Rob Parker’s rant came after Robert Griffin III said being African-American doesn’t define him as a person. What added fuel to Parker’s fire is Griffin having a white fiancée and being a Republican.
Rob Parker got all bent out of shape because of Griffin’s comments in a USA Today article. In the article, RGIII is quoted:
“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that…We always try to find similarities in life, no matter what it is so they’re going to try to put you in a box with other African-American quarterbacks – Vick, Newton, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon…That’s the goal. Just to go out and not try to prove anybody wrong but just let your talents speak for themselves.”
The “First Take” host responded to the USA Today article with a pointed question:
“It makes me wonder deeper about him. I’ve talked to some people in Washington D.C. My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is he a brother or is he a cornball brother”
I see where both guys are coming from despite Rob Parker sounding like he needs to step out of his feelings. While Parker really just wants RGIII to wear his blackness like he is proud of it. We all know we look at black Republicans sideways anyway, but add in a white woman on his arm and you’ve got the second coming of O.J. Simpson.
However, I get Robert Griffin III’s position. At a certain point, the younger generation don’t want to be pigeonholed by the amount of melanin they’re in possession of. For instance, when I decided to become a writer, I wasn’t thinking about becoming the best black writer in the business. My dream was and still is to be the BEST writer in the business, period!
It seems that the difference of opinion comes with the generational gap. While my parents’ generation is proud to be black and feel an innate responsibility to say it loud that they are black and proud, my generation is very proud to be black, but green is the only color we’re focusing on. Yes, that’s a problem that we need to adjust, but we can’t fully process the struggle because we didn’t live through it. And my generation is more of a learn-through-experience than reading-out-of-the-book type learners.
What do you think about Rob Parker’s comments about Robert Griffin III? Sound off below.
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