BRISTOL, Conn. (CBSDC) –Robert Griffin III might be the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year in a season that has his Redskins competing for the NFC East. But even with all his accomplishments on the field, one ESPN commentator thinks the former Heisman Trophy winner could be a “cornball brother” because of his white fiancée and speculation of the quarterback’s political leanings.
Rob Parker, a contributor for ESPN’s “First Take” morning show, questioned Griffin’s standing as a black man, asking whether the quarterback was a “cornball brother,” and later saying that the black quarterback is “not one of us.”
“He’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause; he’s not one of us,” Parker said this morning. “He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the kind of guy you want to hang out with cause he’s off to something else.”
During the “First Take” segment, Parker pointed out Griffin’s engagement to his white fiancée, Rebecca Liddicoat. Parker also speculated that the Redskins quarterback might be a Republican, but that Griffin’s braids added to the “authenticity” of being black.
“I want to find about him,” Parker said about the rookie quarterback. “I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiance. Then there was all this talk about him being a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue.”
At the end of the segment, Parker said that this was the type of talk about Griffin that is being brought up in the barbershops.
ESPN has subsequently responded to Parker’s comments.
A spokesman for the network told CBSSports.com the comments “were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”
The segment came about after Griffin responded to a question in a press conference on Wednesday after practice about Martin Luther King, Jr. Currently, Griffin is one of three black quarterbacks starting in the NFL.
“For me, you don’t ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,” Griffin told reporters on Wednesday. “You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That’s what I’ve tried to go out and do.
“I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don’t have to be defined by that.”
Griffin’s status for Sunday’s game against Cleveland is up in the air following an MCL sprain suffered in last week’s win against Baltimore. Griffin would not return to the game.