For the second time in under a week, the ESPN brand is under fire for a talk show personality being an idiot.
First it was the anti-transgender rant by an ESPN radio show that happened late last week and now it's on-air personality, Rob Parker, who on Thursday delved into the always touchy race topic for no reason whatsoever.
During ESPN's First Take, a show that features Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith arguing about current sports topics, the topic of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III came up. Parker, a guest on the show, for some still unknown reason, brought up the topic of how 'black' RGIII is and claimed he wasn't authentic.
Here is a transcript of what he said as well as responses from the others involved in the conversation.
Rob Parker: "But my question, which is just a straight, honest question, is: is he a brother or is he a cornball brother?"
Cari Champion: "What does that mean?"
Skip Bayless: "Explain that."
Parker: 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.
Champion: "Why is that your question?"
Parker: "Well because that's just how I want to find out about him. I don't know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about how he's a Republican, which, I don't really care, there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into 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."
Obviously this is just an idiotic conversation to be having in the first place. This whole 'is he black enough' question is just plain stupid no matter how you play it. The level of the stupidity of this line of conversation by Parker was made apparent when even the outspoken Steven A. Smith wanted no part of it.
"I'm uncomfortable with where we just went," Smith said. "RGIII, the ethnicity or the color of his fiancée is none of our business, it's irrelevant, he can live his life in whatever way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that's his business, that's his life, he can live his life."
As expected, Parker's clueless 'race baiting' antics on Thursday's episode caused quite the outbreak among the more normal thinking. The responses can be best summed up by what Robert Littal of BlackSportsOnline.com wrote in rebuttal to Parkers inane comments.
“If being a cornball is being engaged to someone you love, not speaking like [rapper] Trinidad James, not getting in trouble and playing the QB position at a very high level, I wish more NFL players would be cornballs.”
While ESPN is not to blame for the twisted way Parker tries to make himself relevant, the company may want to have a word or two with him about what are acceptable topics. It's one thing to report on news other people are making but it's doubtful that ESPN wants its brand associated with being on the receiving end of a public backlash over the dumb ramblings of one of its own.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty