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RG III: Rob Parker Suspended by ESPN; QB Practices Again

ESPN was left with virtually no wiggle room. It had to discipline Rob Parker in some way for his misguided comments about Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III. And the network did, suspending him indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Griffin practiced for the third straight day, sparking optimism that the dynamic rookie quarterback is recovering well from a mild knee sprain and could play Sunday in Cleveland against the Browns. The Redskins do not plan to make a decision on Griffin’s status until game time.

The Redskins are in a battle for a playoff spot, making the outcome crucial. If the New York Giants lose to the 11-2 Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Redskins win, they would bolt first place in the NFC East. Be certain Griffin is aware of this, and would want to go.

There is a chance the team would hold him out if it believed he would risk further injury.

Speaking of injury, Parker hurt his career. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said: “Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review.”

In case you missed it, Parker, appearing on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday, was asked about Griffin’s role as a black quarterback. Parker proceeded to bury himself, questioning Griffin’s “blackness.” “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” said Parker, who is black. “He’s black. . .But he’s not black. He’s not down with the cause.”

He added: “We all know he has a white fiancée,” he said. “There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. 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.”

Outrage ensued, particularly from the black community, which was offended that Parker would suggest an affable, engaging, humble athlete was not “black enough.”

Robert Griffin II, the quarterback’s father, told USA Today Sports Thursday night : “I wouldn’t say it’s racism. I would just say some people put things out there about people so they can stir things up.”

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, told The Washington Post in an email Friday: “Robert can certainly take care of himself. Nonetheless, I hope that our men and for that matter, my own kids, will never beg for authenticity from someone who can only talk about the things that other people have the courage to do. People need to be held accountable for the offensive things that they say.”


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