Rob Parker, the resident lizard-headed asswad who occasionally appears on "First Take" with fellow insufferable gasbags Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith, was suspended thirty days by the network for comments deemed inappropriate in relation to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. He has since apologized, but the damage has been done. The gist of his commentary was whether or not Griffin is either black enough or even black at all. Citing crap that has nothing to do with reporting, bereft of any type of investigative journalistic integrity, Parker felt it necessary to bloviate over comments he's "heard" from friends of his in the Washington, D.C. area about Griffin and how he conducts himself off the field. Some of these comments involve the possibility that Griffin may be a Republican, has a white fiancée, and other meaningless tripe that have nothing to do with what matters-Griffin the football player.
His braids were mentioned, apropos of nothing, as if this were a sign of ultimate blackness. It seems, according to Parker, with that particular hairdo, Griffin would be shunned by corporate America for not being clean-cut enough. Griffin has been doing very well on the promotional front despite his Kunta Kinte dreadlocks and his painfully obvious lack of traditional leading man looks. In other words, a homely brother with braids can pull off exactly what Parker just said he can't because he happens to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in this, his first full season as a professional.
According to Parker, "keeping it real", as defined by brothers like himself and others who hang out at the barbershop talking endless amount of shit about other people they would kill to be like, means doing everything possible to shun white America and the corporate sponsors that many athletes are hired to endorse their products. I guess Griffin would be more authentic if he were standing on a corner in a lime green sharkskn pimpsuit beating up prostitutes who are behind on their nightly quota ("Get me that money. bitch!!!) or slinging crack instead of working hard to be the best and most exiting quarterback to come out of college since Michael Vick. Yeah, that's the ticket, Rob.
For the record, Parker happens to own a barbershop, and apparently spends an inordinate amount of time paying attention to what the losers who hang out there have to say. The crescendo of Parker's diatribe was a question for Griffin-"Is he a brother, or a cornball brother?" He is neither. In America, you are free to date a white woman if you're black, and free to be a Republican if you so choose. But not according to Rob Parker, who made the insane comparison of Griffin to Tiger Woods, whom he feels has never embraced his blackness.
Black athletes take more shit for shunning the negative stereotypes that have fucked black people up more than any other group of athletes I've ever seen. And Parker added fuel to the fire by mistaking racial authenticity with the liberty for a man to live his life the way he sees fit. Apology or not, Rob Parker doesn't get it and never will. If Griffin wants to live his life as he's doing so, let him. He's earned the right. If anything, he's been a hundred times the model citizen the last over-hyped Washington, D.C. athlete was. Let us not forget what a disgrace Gilbert Arenas turned out to be. In a city awash in gun violence amongst young black men, he followed the script I'm sure Parker would approve of-bringing guns to the workplace and threatening another fellow teammate to a duel. Because that's how conflicts should be handled if you're "keeping it real". I wonder if that particular scenario was "black" enough for Rob Parker. If it was, then that explains everything.
I was watching the Oklahoma Thunder a few nights ago play against the Minnesota Timberwolves. OKC, with their incredible "Band of Brothers" starting five, lost. During the pivotal moments of the second half, it was five black players against five white players. When JJ Barea hit an impossibly long three-pointer as the 24-second clock wound down, the dynamics of the game suddenly hit me-"hey, what the fuck is this? Five white guys taking it to Oklahoma, one of the most talented and athletic teams in the NBA? What is this world coming to?" And more importantly, what do the assholes hanging out at the barbershop think of this?
Rob Parker needs to recognize that skin color matters very little in professional sports, the one true meritocracy we have in this world. If you're a bad motherfucker, you're a bad motherfucker plain and simple. And someone will pay you to be a bad motherfucker for their team, and you will be approached by
corporate America to shill their products if you toe the company line of conservative off-the-field comportment and personal appearance. If it's good enough for Aaron Rodgers and those stupid State Farm Insurance commercials of his, it should be good enough for Robert Griffin III, whatever Rob Parker and his dumb-ass barbershop quartet of jackasses opine about his lifestyle off the field. Remember, in this world, the only color that matters is not black or white-it's GREEN.