When I first heard Rob Parker’s comments, I said to myself “Here we go again.” After hearing Parker’s intial comments, I thought that the was trying to tie the “cornball” reference to a more explosive word:Uncle Tom. A word that is interchangeable with the n-word in the minds of all African-Americans.
I thought that Rob Parker was saying this because of RGIII’s background. He made a point of talking about RGIII’s hairstyle and choice of socks. Parker even brought up the “white girl” thing. Which can’t really be used anymore because quite a few black men either date,sleep,or marry these women. Also the president would not be here if it wasn’t for an interracial relationship.That’s a known fact.
The facts are that Robert Griffin III comes from a military family. Which means he moved around a lot and was most likely the only black kid in the schools he went to. He shouldn’t be blamed for that no more than black students who get culture shock when they go to predominately white schools.
Next, RGIII’s father reacted to Parker’s comments:
“He needs to define what ‘one of us’ is. That guy needs to define that; 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. Robert is in really good shape on who he is, where he needs to get to in order to seek the goals he has in life … so I don’t take offense.” (USA Today)
You can tell that this wasn't the first time RGII has heard such comments about his son.
I know what it is like when people do not know what to make of you when you are different from what they know. My father put me and my sister in summer school at a place that we were not familiar with. He sent us to John Farren Elementary school,which was right across the street from the Robert Taylor Homes Housing Project. Many of my classmates lived there. I felt like I fit right in because I had similar interests like the other kids. The thing that made me different was in the words one of my classmates, he said I sounded “White.” At the time, I wasn’t sure what that meant since I grew up around other African-Americans. Later on in life, I started to realize that the comment came from a place of ignorance and limited social skills.
Speaking of culture shock, I remember when I first entered De La Salle Institute. Many of my fellow African-American students struggled with being in a situation where they were no longer the majority. When a teacher or coach would talk to them, they were afraid to make eye contact.
I believe what Rob Parker was trying to say was that he thinks that RGIII isn’t comfortable around other black people. He also thinks that Griffin is trying to go out of his way to be different. Similar to the movie “Glory” when Andre Braugher’s character was nicknamed “Snowflake” because he could not identify with the other black soldiers because he had not been a slave and spoke proper English. As you may remember in the movie, both sides butted heads frequently due to their differences.
Most sports fans usually scoff at the term student-athlete because the word doesn’t mean much. Robert Griffin III embodied the full meaning of the word in his time at Baylor University. In his short time in the NFL, he has already been named team captain. When was the last time a rookie got such as honor? If I have a son one day, I would love him to emulate someone like RGIII.
Rob Parker ultimately did an awful job explaining his comments. Maybe he can reach out to Robert Griffin III during his time off.