Bloomberg News

ESPN Suspends Parker for Racial Comments on Redskins’ Griffin

December 14, 2012

ESPN suspended commentator Rob Parker for what the network called “inappropriate” race- related comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Parker was “suspended until further notice” by the Walt Disney (DIS:US) Co.-owned network a day after questioning on the air whether Griffin is “authentically” black. ESPN said it’s conducting a full review.

“My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is … is he a brother or is he a cornball brother?” Parker said on the ESPN’s “First Take” program. “He’s not really. He’s black, 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’d want to hang out with.”

“We all know he has a white fiancee,” continued Parker, who is black. “There was all this talk about how he’s a Republican. Tiger Woods was like, ‘I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black.’”

This isn’t the first time Parker has been the center of controversy.

While at the Detroit News, he asked then-Lions coach Rod Marinelli whether he wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator. Joe Barry, the team’s defensive coordinator at the time, was the coach’s son-in-law.

The newspaper’s managing editor called the question inappropriate and unprofessional.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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