ESPN’s Parker apologizes for Griffin comments
When discussing Griffin’s answer to a question about his role as an African-American quarterback, Parker questioned Griffin’s “blackness,” citing that the quarterback has a white fiancee and is rumored to be Republican as among his reasons.
“Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” said Parker, who is black. Later in the discussion, he added, “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 his statement Wednesday on his Twitter account, Parker, who has been suspended by ESPN until further notice, said, in part:
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. 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. 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.”