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1/10/13 at 10:57 AM 1 Comments

ESPN Commentator Fired After Questioning RG3's Blackness

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Keith Allison

ESPN President Mike Soltys announced that the sports network would not renew its contract with football commentator Rob Parker after Parker said Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III was "kind of Black" but not really on national television.

Soltys tweeted Tuesday, "Rob Parker’s contract expired at year end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew."

Parker, an African-American, shocked many when he took issue with the beloved Christian athlete's race. He told follow commentators that people were talking about Griffin in barbershops, and if given the chance, he would ask Griffin he considered himself a brother.

"Is he a brother or is he a cornball brother? 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," he opined.

Parker went on to state that though Griffin had braids which he considered "urban," Griffin is engaged to a white woman and is reportedly a Republican. Parker also took issue with some of Griffin's statements about race.

Griffin has previously said "I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that." Griffin, commonly referred to as RG3, also stated that he didn't just want to be a great African-American quarterback but a great quarterback in general.

Fellow commentators were visibly uneasy with Parker's remarks about race.

Sports journalist Stephen A. Smith, also African-American, chimed in, "I'm uncomfortable with where we just went. RG3, the ethicity, the color of his fiance is none of our business."

CBS News commentator and former NFL player Ephraim Salaam apologized for Parker's remarks and publically denounced him as someone who has "lost touch with what century it is."

Parker tried to explain his comments, "I wasn't saying that he wasn't black enough. When people say that, it's just not true. I was saying these are the conversations that take place once a guy pushes away. So it was never aimed at him or I was calling him that, I'm saying these are the conversations that take place."

Still Parker was suspended for 30 days following comments prior to the decision to release him from his contract.

Here is a video of Parker's remarks.

Here is the video of Salaam's response.

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