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.