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Rob Parker got robbed but he was wrong also

Written By: Terry Foster | January 9, 2013

Filed Under: Uncategorized

In football your next play could be your last. In the almost as uncaring world of the media your next word could be your last.

That is the lesson learned in the firing of former ESPN commentator Rob Parker whose contract was not renewed by the network for his now famous “cornball brother” comments about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on First Take. There goes the misconception held by whites that blacks never get fired for racially charged comments. It can happen to any of us.

I disagree with Rob’s decision to talk about Griffin’s “blackness” just as I disagree with ESPN’s decision to not renew his contract.

We live in a world of wild and crazy free exchange where you are encouraged to be controversial, opinionated and push the button. But you can only do it to a certain limit. ESPN is the biggest culprit. If you are not yelling, screaming and flapping your arms like  a chicken the network has no use for you.

I am convinced producers knew what Rob was going to say before he said it. It is sort of like telling the police you are going to rob a bank. The police department tells you to go ahead and do it then gives you life in prison. The network even re aired the segment.

Everybody is wrong here.

Rob keeps saying he was simply repeating what he heard and wanted to know more. It did not come off that way. He even looked uncomfortable saying it. He should have made it clear he was repeated what he heard and disassociate himself from the comments if he did not believe them.  Sometimes it is best to shut your mouth and cut your losses. I know Rob wants to be controversial and push the envelope but we live in a different era.

This is at least the fourth Parker has been fired or suspended from a job for comments or actions. He still has a gig at Channel 4 in Detroit as far as I know. He needs to watch his step and think about his actions. Rob has a reputation of losing gigs. It might not always be the case but that is the belief.

Sometimes you’ve got to bite your tongue and survive the day. I want to lash out at some of the callers on the Valenti and Foster Show. People piss you off. And you can give it back to them, but you can only go so far. This is a new world.

My next word could be my last. You’ve got to think before you say it.

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5 Responses to “Rob Parker got robbed but he was wrong also”

  1. Leon Says:

    Nice blog Terry I totally agree. Keep up the good work on the air, you and Mike are the best!!!!!

    Reply

  2. Jim Says:

    Terri, I follow your show but I must say I disagree with you wholeheartedly. Parker has ALWAYS been a loose cannon and many of his comments are racially charged. There is no place for him in media anymore and his “my moles are telling me” crap was old a looooong time ago. He was fired from the Det News… How long ago? I won’t watch final edition anymore because he bring absolutely nothing to the show. I wonder how long before he says something stupid to get fired there? Do you think Katrina actually wants him ruining her show?

    Reply

    • BID316 Says:

      I agree with Terry. There was a way to approach the subject. I had Tweeted Rob Parker right after the initial airing to tell him how wrong I thought he was.

      Rob was not the only person at fault. They have pre-show meetings at ESPN and I’m sure that they knew (almost) exactly what Rob was prepared to say. They had him on to discuss the opinion of RG3′s Blackness. They had graphics prepared (and everything). Somebody, somewhere, approved the subject matter beforehand. ESPN had graphics prepared for the conversation and they re-aired the segment (twice). The segment was included in the “Best Of” 30-minute version in addition to the normal two-hour full show rerun. It was not until “the backlash” that ESPN made Rob the “fall-guy.”

      Of course, Rob could have helped himself by approaching the subject differently. RG3′s finance’s race is and should be off-limits. In my post-show Tweet to Rob, I explained that he could have said the same thing (basically) by asking (A) Is RG3 more Carlton Banks or Will Smith OR (B) Is RG3 more Grant Hill or Jalen Rose? We would all know what he meant and we could have been able to accept a discussion on the subject which Rob was trying to approach.

      I know what he meant. I am a corn-ball brother! I come from a long line of corn-ball brothers. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I have corn-ball parents. I was always made fun of by my contemporaries because I was “different.”

      One example: My contemporaries used to tease me because I would not litter. Respect for property and “not littering” is something which I was taught by my corn-ball parents. The other neighborhood kids used to refer to me as the Indian (Native-American) who cried on those old commercials about littering. They used to litter in front of me to see if they could make me cry.

      This wasn’t the only thing about which I was teased, but this event was actually (almost) funny and less “hurtful” than others. I was also teased for doing well in school, speaking properly, following the rules, respecting authority, avoiding general mischief, etc. These are things that we would probably attribute more to a young Carlton Banks or a young Grant Hill more so than a young Will Smith or a young Jalen Rose.

      Reply

  3. Jim - Clawson Says:

    There is a reason he has been fired so many times …. he is a horrible writer and only gained notoriety by making inflammatory and racist comments everywhere he has been. I remember an article (I still have it) when he wrote for the Det News which ultimately got him fired there as well.
    As a real writer you can carefully craft your words to get people to think and wrong or right, you can get your point across. He prefers to spew hateful and racist comments where ever he goes and just hasn’t figured out his comments are unwelcome.
    A few more weeks on Final Edition and everyone will tire of his BS rhetoric and his non-existent “moles” which he claims give him the inside scoop. How long before Katrina tires of having to drag him by her skirt and give him a forum on Det TV?

    Reply

  4. T-Nick Says:

    Terry,

    I understand what you are saying about all of the parties involved. My question is… In this day and age why should the subject come up on someone’s “blackness” or “whiteness”. We shouldn’t care about who is married to who and what color they are. Let the man/woman be their own person and do his/her job on the field. What they do off the field should be their business. imho…

    Love your show! Keep MV in check ;-)

    Reply

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