The Right Opinion

RG III Gets 'Uncle Tom' Treatment

By Larry Elder · Dec. 27, 2012

To a black ESPN sports analyst, this is the critical question: Is Robert Griffin III, aka RG III, the black rookie sensation Washington Redskins quarterback, “a brother, or is he a cornball brother?” What has RG III done or said to raise a suspicion about his bona fides as a black person? More importantly, what does this have to do with appreciating – or choosing not to appreciate – Griffin as an athlete?

Turns out RG III fancies himself as a quarterback who happens to be black – as opposed to a black quarterback. When asked for the millionth time about his status as a “black quarterback,” Griffin responded: “I don't play too much into the color game, because I don't want to be the best African-American quarterback, I want to be the best quarterback.”

And, when asked at a press conference about Martin Luther King Jr., RG III said: “For me, you don't ever want to be defined by the color of your skin. You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That's what I've tried to go out and do. I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that.”

Holy color-blindness!

Such an attitude doesn't cut it with ESPN's Rob Parker, who in addition to the “cornball brother” comment, said: “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. … We all know he has a white fiancee. Then there was all this talk about him being a Republican.”

Griffin is a winner so popular his jersey set a single-year NFL record for sales. Elected high school class president, RG III ranked seventh in his class, graduated a semester early and began college at 17. He graduated from Baylor University in three years with a degree in political science, a 3.67 GPA and two appearances on the Dean's List. He took graduate courses during his fourth year. He is the youngest of three children – his mother and father both sergeants in the Army. He's had the same girlfriend since college.

Yep, RG III's practically a degenerate.

Parker's comments got him suspended for 30 days. He wrote this apology: “I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert's thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on 'First Take,' and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one.”

But what Parker said about RG III is standard operating procedure for the hosts and pundits on MSNBC and other outlets, who question the “blackness” of “inauthentic blacks” like Herman Cain, Allen West and Clarence Thomas.

Where's the apology from, let alone suspension for, the following?

MSNBC contributor Karen Finney, who said about Republican Herman Cain: “I think he makes that white Republican base of the party feel OK, feel like they are not racist because they can like this guy. I think he is giving that base a free pass, and I think they like him because they think he is a black man who knows his place.”

MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who said: “Mr. Cain was supposed to attend the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial on Sunday … but he failed to attend. Now there's been some surprise at his absence. But being honest, isn't this consistent for a man who really doesn't want to be overtly associated with African-Americans?”

MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who told black former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele that his party was “the Grand Wizard crowd.”

HBO's Bryant Gumbel, who on his “Real Sports” program, said that he wouldn't watch the Winter Olympics: “Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”

It took the bigoted treatment of RG III to make some people wake up and smell the ideological totalitarianism. Maligning a black person for “not being black enough” is a hideous form of bigotry, the antithesis of what Martin Luther King Jr. stood for.

Will ESPN send Parker to “sensitivity training,” where many companies send their white bigots?



Alex in NJ said:

As a Giants fan, this guy is going to be trouble for years to come if he doesn't get hurt, but reading this, I find myself liking him quite a bit...

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:58 AM

JJStryder in Realville said:

The content of character being the mark of a man has been lost in this racist haze called afro-centrism. 12% of the population yet you'd think we were a
black dominated country. White guilt, black anger and ethnocentrism of all kinds are really a pain in the ass. We're regressing as a society not progressing. In many areas like education, culture, intellectual honesty and on race we're really 3rd world and getting worse.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

Liberals practice racism at it`s ugly worst, but it`s tolerated because of the fact that liberals own the media. It`s a filthy business practiced by a filthy bunch.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

r folke in pittsburgh pa said:

RG 3 is obviously a great athletic talent and we should be talking about him being rookie of the year instead of this racial nonsense, to which he apparently does not subsribe. I had some idea of how much of an exceptional person he is apart from being a great football player, but I did not know all the details of his accomplishments. Thank you for writing about him and about the ridiculous ESPN commentary which is so insulting to this awesome young man.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

JAC in Texas said:

Parker's assinine comments are just an extension of what goes on in the black community today when his fellow students criticise a black child who is studying hard and making good grades for "acting white." I guess Griffin has "acted white" his whole life and is not "down with the cause" of idiots like Parker who want to maintain the victim mentality, continue to underperform, and then complain because their free Obozophone is late getting there.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Tom in Amherst, N.Y. said:

This reminds me of a commercial I used to watch when I was growing up. A young boy tells his grandfather that his black friend says he is a racist. I can't remember the exact reply from the grandfather, but the message was clear. If he isn't a friend first, you just may be a racist. RG III is a great quarterback, period!

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

JAC in Texas replied:

He's a great quarterback, but at the risk of being called a racist, I hope he falls on his face this weekend when he plays the Dallas Cowboys!

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Pastor Joe in Poulsbo WA said:

Hey, don't forget about Russell Wilson! Go Hawks! Oh, yeah, he happens to be black and is also a man of great charachter.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Capt. Call in New Mexico said:

I'm with Robert Griffin III. Why can't he be just a Quarterback? Before today, I had seen his initials in the news, but I didn't know anything about him as I'm not into sports. Why does he have to be a black Quarterback? Just let the guy do what he has chosen to do. It is the Democrats/Liberals/Marxists/Progressives, etc. who are continually bringing skin color into the dialog! Why should it matter? There are great football players with every skin color.

We are all of one race, anyway, the human race. We are all descended from one set of parents, who had the genes for all skin colors in their DNA. In that sense, we are truly all brothers.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

My wife taught school for a number of years in middle grades and high school. It was nothing unusual for the black kids trying to get an education to be ostrazied by other blacks and called Uncle Tom, whitey's nigger, and other racist comments. If any black thinks different from his "bros" that automatically makes him a tool of the whites. Worst racists in this country are not whites but blacks who think everyone owes them a living. They don't like Robert Griffin III because he doesn't follow the usual victim mentality.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

There was another prominent Black that was a Republican, Jackie Robinson. I wonder how many Blacks today know what he did. He got where he was because of his ability.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado said:

I don't watch the NFL anymore. I didn't know who RG3 was. Now that I have seen his quotes I have to say I am impressed with him. Looks to me like he has a mind of his own. I hope he has a long and fabulous career. If he doesn't he will be torn to shreds by the media for not being down with the cause. Seems to me all people of color should look at RG3 and see a victory for racial equality (the cause?).

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM

India in GA replied:

"If he doesn't he will be torn to shreds by the media for not being down with the cause. Seems to me all people of color should look at RG3 and see a victory for racial equality (the cause?)."

Well said, Robinus.

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:19 PM

India in GA said:

Bryant Gumball is a simpering pea-brain. He reminds me of a black, slightly male, Barbara Walters. I avoid HBO as much as possible; Real Sports is but one of the many reasons why. NFL Network is much better for football coverage. Testosterone is still allowed in their studio.

I am a die-hard Falcons fans (yeah, I know, poor me), but RGIII just made it to the top of my list of "good guys" that I also cheer for. (Just not when the Skins are playing the Falcons!)

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM