Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Why Rob Parker Was 100% Right And 100% Wrong To Question RG3’s “Blackness”

When people say things like “I’m in love with…” it’s generally understood that, unless they’re specifically referring to a person they have/had/wish to have a romantic interaction with, it’s always hyperbole. You are not actually in love with chocolate cake, Brooklyn, H&M’s fall line, or Kendrick Lamar, but you like/adore/admire these things so much that “in love” is used as an exaggerated substitute for a legitimate feeling you’re unable or unwilling to fully describe.

That being said, since first learning five years ago that he was going to run for President, I’ve been “in love” with Barack Obama as much as a person could be “in love” with a politician. While I don’t believe he’s perfect and I’m also aware this “love” could be more about the idea of Obama than Obama himself, as the unexpectedly primal scream I let out when seeing that he won Ohio last month indicated, I am an unabashed fan.

Yet, as I watched him on TV yesterday, addressing the Newtown school shooting, I’m reminded this “love” wasn’t unconditional. In fact, one of the main details allowing me to get to this place of “love” had nothing to do with his status as a politician and everything to do with a decision he made twenty years before I first knew he existed.

He married a Black woman. 

Now, would I have supported Obama any less if I learned he was married to a White woman. I’m not sure, but I doubt it. I doubt it would have had that much of an effect on who he was as a person and politician to make me do a complete 180 on how I currently feel about him.

There are two things I am sure of, though.

1. I’m not the only Black person who “loves” and supports President Obama the way I do

2. I’m not the only Black person whose “love” and support for Obama was helped by the fact that he has an authentically Black wife

And yes, while technically there’s no such thing as “authentically” Black—being Black is all the authenticity you should need—it matters that his wife wasn’t just Black, but a dark brown-skinned big-bootied chick from Chicago whose last name was Robinson. We still would have supported and voted for him, but I’m certain we wouldn’t have “loved” him as much. (I even have doubts he would have received the same unconditional “love” and support from the Black community if his wife was light-skinned.)

None of this should matter. But it does. And, because it does, I have to call bullshit on the tidal wave of post-racial self-righteousness coming down on ESPN commentator Rob Parker for questioning the blackness of Washington Redskins star quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3). Was Parker wrong for his comments? Yes. (More of that later.) Should he have been suspended? Definitely. But, was his opinion—and the line of thinking behind the opinion—any different than the thoughts many of us of had about prominent Black men? No!

What he said about RG3 is said in many of our heads about every Black male politician, actor, athlete, co-worker, supervisor, neighbor, friend, and family member we know. Shit, as much as you all “love” VSB, I have no doubt our support would dwindle if one of us married a White woman. Sure, it wouldn’t change who we were as people or writers, but for many of our readers, we’d be a tad less “authentic,” and I can’t chide Parker too much for using the same means to calibrate Blackness that many of us also use.

It’s ironic that Parker mentioned “talking to some people in D.C.”—a clear allusion to the type of “barbershop” convos Black people have with each other—before going in on RG3 because that’s exactly why he was still wrong for saying what he said. These discussions about authenticity and “levels of Blackness” are definitely had…but they’re not meant to be had in mixed company. You do not ever question another Black person’s Blackness if any non-Black people are within earshot. In fact, you don’t even have that conversation if certain type of Black people are around. It’s only for people you trust to be able to fully appreciate and handle its nuance. Shit, doing that repeatedly will get your Black card revoked quicker than dating any White woman would.

Interestingly enough, I don’t even think Parker’s statements are the result of RG3 having a White fiancee. If dating White women was the NFL’s barometer for Blackness, you could have this same conversation about 80% 30% of the league. It’s more due to the fact that RG3 doesn’t act the way a typical young Black athlete acts. It’s not about him speaking proper English or even him not being seen at KIng of Diamonds every other weekend, but just the fact that the way he carries himself is outside of the range of behavior we expect from people like him.

If he was Rob Griffin the IT guy, his Blackness wouldn’t be questioned because his behavior is within the range of behavior we expect from people like that. But, between his behavior, his background, and his hair—yes, the fact that he has plaits in 2012 definitely matters—he’s “different” because he’s not what we expect. And, for too many of us, a “different” Black guy = “a Black guy who’s not really Black” or even “gay Black guy.” The criticisms leveled at him—questions about his Blackness and his sexuality—are no different than the types of criticisms hurled towards Ricky Williams, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Dennis Rodman and other high profile Black athletes who acted in a way outside of what we expected from them.

Ultimately, RG3 is a 20-something quarterback of an NFL team, not a politician whose personal life choices directly influence his policy decisions—policy decisions that can affect the lives of millions of people. Basically, so what if he isn’t authentically Black? He throws a f*cking football for a living. Who gives a damn who he dates?

Well, Rob Parker (obviously) does. And, as long as it’s true that our “love” and support for Black men is influenced by the color of whoever they decide to marry, we do too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

    Let that man date Becky if he wants to. Who he dates has no pull on who I (or who others) chose to date.

    I’m all about loving who loves you. And though I have a profound bias for my brothas*, just because I chose one doesn’t mean anybody else has to.

    I don’t think it matters much who celebrities date (politicians, yes); it’s like Dave Chappelle said, nobody’s looking for Ja Rule to make sense of sh*t in this world. Who do we look to to sum up our mass opinion on big things? Our President (and/or political representative.).

    *Brothas does also include the Jewish ones cause… אני אוהב את האחים היהודים שלי

    • Beautifullyhuman

      “Let that man date Becky if he wants to.”

      Ironically, I think his girl’s name is Becky, too! LOL. If I’m not mistaken it’s Rebecca.

      • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

        אז לך לעזאזל … If that ain’t coincidence…

        • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

          For the record, אני דווקא אוהב אותך יותר מדי, דוכס. Word.

          • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

            Hey, hey. Let’s keep it clean here.

            • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

              Sir, that was so Hebrew G. :-P

              • Yonnie

                I was like… is my computer acting up?

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        Lucky guess LMAO!

        • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

          I think some of us (me) looked to Ja Rule to be our moral center as he could combine singing and rappin like no other.

          • Sweet GA Brown

            …Ja Rule did blend it well, now that I think of it…..

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

              Not as good as Phonte and pre-solo Cee-Lo Green, but I digress…

              • Sweet GA Brown

                I think Ceelo was a singer turnt rapper. Then he went back to his roots. You cant tell me that when the Dungeon Family was making beat that he never once freestyled a song. Rico may have looked at him crazy but I know he sang a verse at least once.

                • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

                  He basically sang his verse on “They Don’t Dance No Mo'”.

                • P. Servant

                  Exactly. He was singing all throughout his Goodie Mob days. Check the first track of the “Soul Food” album called “Free” for starters.

                  • http://www.RubiesRising.com Victoria

                    I love how quickly the comments for this piece turned into a musical commentary, lol

              • Yonnie

                PA, I think we’ve had this convo before. I think our iTunes collections would be in love with each other.

                • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

                  If you’ve got Prince, Mint Condition and Redman in there, we’re cool, LOL!

          • bkallday

            Lauryn Hill was and still is the best rapper/singer

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “Let that man date Becky if he wants to.”

      Exactly. And let the man be happy. As long as he is not cheating, f*&%ing around, or hurting anyone, what is his crime? Seeing two people genuinely happy together conquers all of my political leanings. I’m more loyal to love than I am to race-relationship dynamics.

    • MadBrolic

      Not sure that I agree with your logic here. Because a lot of people share Parker’s opinion it is somehow less ignorant, or more appropriate to share on TV??

      A lot of people think Obama is muslim, is he allowed to state that on the air?

      This sounds a little like justifying your own prejudices (which we all have to some degree)…

  • Caballeroso

    “He throws a f*cking football for a living. Who gives a damn who he dates?”

    All the gold diggers who thought she had a shot at making a come up once he became a household name.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      It’s sad, but it’s true. A lot of come-ups were put down once that picture of his fiancee came out.

    • Sweet GA Brown

      Actually a lot of male athletes and celebrities tend to swirl and everything else so I would imagine that black females in general wouldnt be as mad as strippers who was hoping he would make it rain on them.

      I mean, thats a lot of dollar bills they are missing out on becasue he had the audacity to get engaged. Lol

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

      “All the gold diggers who thought she had a shot at making a come up once he became a household name.”

      *insert infamous Kanye West line here*

      • Rewind

        But….but…he already got the white girl….

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

          Drats…I tried.

    • Royale W. Cheese

      “All the gold diggers who thought she had a shot…”

      You think an engagement is going to stop them? The only thing a gold digger needs to tap into the money is a pregnancy, based on my observations of the Young and the Ratchet.

    • PurpleView

      Mmmm…. something tells me a lot of sistahs weren’t checkin’ for this dude anyway. He kind of screams “I want Jenny!” Congrats on the engagement, kids.

      • Rewind

        Which is why this conversation is so stupid.

        Plenty of women who go up in arms about why some Black men date other races, but fail to see some Black men WERE NEVER on black women’s radar, so why should that change when he’s rich or famous?

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

          Simple- it’s because he’s rich and famous. If he was Robert Griffin III the computer programmer, no one would care.

          • Rewind

            So in other words…can’t please the Black ladies when you hit it big.

    • http://eDotReed.blogspot.com E. Reed

      I mean,

      The man attended Baylor University in WACO Texas. I dunno if anyone has ever been to WACO, but it’s one of the lily-whitest places on earth. It’s only natural that he ended up with a white girl.

      Guess I see things differently since I’m a native Texan.

      Plus, the guy who questioned RG3’s Blackness is an idiot….

      It may not be publically known(or at least outside of Texas), but the brotha actually does a helluva lot of community service around helping young Black and Latino in the Waco, Dallas, and Fort Worth area…

      Just a thought…..

      • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

        Great contribution E.Reed. All excellent points. He seems like an awesome human being. That’s all that matters anyway.

        • Asiyah

          Is that him in the picture? If so, he looks like a nice guy.

      • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

        Prolly never kicked it on Elm Street.

  • Malik

    Negative. Never cared. Just happy to see a fellow military brat doing well in life. Rob Parker stay looking like he gets his shape up from super cuts despite constantly being in the barbershop.

    • msdebbs

      “Rob Parker stay looking like he gets his shape up from super cuts despite constantly being in the barbershop.”

      +9mil

    • Sweet GA Brown

      “Just happy to see a fellow military brat doing well in life.”

      This is an important point because the military allows children to grow up around all races and cultures. When you understand that and then take a look at RG3 again, you dont really come down on him like that. The mixed environment of which he grew up in helped mold him to be who he is and there is nothing wrong with that.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Rob Parker stay looking like he gets his shape up from super cuts despite constantly being in the barbershop.”

      he might be one of those cats who just goes to the shop to sit down

      • Eps

        My brother works in a barbershop and I am definitely there like 3 days a week, only getting a cut on one of those days lol

  • Vasha

    You read my mind exactly with this article.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      I know what you’re thinking about right now too

  • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

    “but they’re not meant to be had in mixed company. You do not ever question another Black person’s Blackness if any non-Black people are within earshot. In fact, you don’t even have that conversation if certain type of Black people are around. It’s only for people you trust to be able to fully appreciate and handle its nuance. Shit, doing that repeatedly will get your Black card revoked quicker than dating any White woman would.”

    You took the words out of mouth with that. That’s all I found wrong with Parker’s statements. He was right though. Dude is a lil different (which I don’t think is a bad thing, because our kids need to see more diversity among black men who are valued in our community, especially athletes and rappers).

    Honestly, I’m at the point that him havin a white wife does NOTHING for how much I f*ck with him as an athlete. Partly because I don’t think he dislikes black women (even though I don’t know enough about him to make that call.) I think he’s a relatively quirky black guy who grew up on military bases and had a COMPLETELY different type of childhood and social life than I did growing up, so it’s no big deal to me. I don’t expect him to be just like me. Now if he were to make comments like Tiger Woods made then I’d have an issue, but all he said was he didn’t want race to define him (and he married a chick who happened to be white) and I don’t blame him cause I don’t want it to define me either, so it was no big deal. I get why black women might decide to be indifferent or uninterested in him because of this, but I’m over the “he ain’t down wit us because he got a white woman” sentiment. I say let that man live (like I let Halle Berry and Garcielle Beauvais and all them live). He represents us well behind center on the regular, and that’s all I ask of him honestly.

    • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

      Moderation? I didn’t even curse doe…

      • Iceprincess2

        Every time u change your pic you get automatic moderation.

        • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

          I’ve had this picture for like 3 or 4 posts now though…

          • Iceprincess2

            Oh. Welp, shows how much I know lmao

    • Adonis

      @T.Q. Fuego

      If he went the “Tiger Woods” I would have problem.

      Because it is almost d@mn near courageous for black people to be proud of their skin & their great contributions to society.

      • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

        And that isn’t to say he ain’t gettin his James Brown on.

        And while being black may or may not be the main identifying trait of a man, what does it say if he lives and dies ONLY by that?

        I’d think he’d do a much a greater service by not allowing himself to be placed in that box. That doesn’t mean that he forgot that he’s a black man. It just means that his goals transcend his skin, which is where we need to be in the first place. But Rob parker mad cuz he ain’t turn into Vince Young (which isn’t a good idea on ANY level).

        I think people also need to understand that RG3 is Christian, and being the person he is he’ll probably identify with that moreso than being black. So if he ain’t Tebowing on the field to show he loves Jesus, the dude shouldn’t have to hit his dougie every touchdown to represent.

        • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

          AND i didn’t see Stephen A’s contribution to this discussion, but i’m almost certain he went ALL THE WAY IN on Rob Parker.

        • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

          “I’d think he’d do a much a greater service by not allowing himself to be placed in that box. That doesn’t mean that he forgot that he’s a black man. It just means that his goals transcend his skin, which is where we need to be in the first place. ”

          Right. That’s the point I was tryna make. Everybody doesn’t have to be black and proud. Black boys need to get the courage to leave the box early so they don’t go through so much turmoil later. It’s ok to be different, period. We gotta stop lettin ‘blackness” determine so much about us. It’s stifling and destructive to our souls at times.

          • Adonis

            @TQ Fuego

            I disagree

            Black boys just need to see themselves reflected in a positive light.

            If they knew black men who accomplished great thing, I am talking about contributions that changes the way society functions. Blackness would not be up for debate.

            It is about controlling the information that your children receive.

            • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

              @ Adonis-

              “Black boys just need to see themselves reflected in a positive light.”

              How is that disagreeing though? I don’t object to that..

              “If they knew black men who accomplished great thing, I am talking about contributions that changes the way society functions. Blackness would not be up for debate.”

              Not sure what that had to do with what I wrote though…

              None of what you’re saying is negating what I was saying…

              “It is about controlling the information that your children receive.”

              To a degree, but you can only do that so much. They’re gonna catch wind of opposing worldviews one way or another. I would argue it’s about teaching them how to mentally and emotionally develop so that they stand firm in their own sense of self and pride without going batsh*t everytime someone disagrees or fails to recognize their greatness. I don’t want my kids to be insecure…

          • lurkyturkey

            “We gotta stop lettin ‘blackness” determine so much about us. It’s stifling and destructive to our souls at times.”

            It make me sad when people say things like this. When your history and ethnicity (aka “blackness”) become STIFLING theres a much bigger problem at hand.

            I dont understand why its its oh so cool to not be black and proud anymore…*sigh*

            • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

              It’s not being “black and proud ” that’s stifling. I think he was saying that we shouldn’t be bound to negative stereotypes.

              I think that it’s necessary to embrace our culture, but we can do that without our identifying characteristic being black. I’m almost certain that white’s don’t identify primarily with being white. I think that we’ve been bound by the LIMITATIONS of our skin for so long, we tend to own some of the stereotypes (including the negatives) and include them into the definition of being black. I don’t think that’s a good idea, because time someone makes fun of us for that those same stereotypes we gon get all upset and wanna start marchin, when WE are the ones that perpetuate it.

              We should embrace our culture, but not certain aspects of it as a measuring stick for melanin.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

      “I get why black women might decide to be indifferent or uninterested in him because of this, but I’m over the “he ain’t down wit us because he got a white woman” sentiment.”

      It’s not like he was embraced by Black women to begin with- well, him and Tiger Woods. How many Black women do you know are golf fans?

      • Adonis

        @Perverted Alchemist

        BOOM! LOL. Great point

      • Juiciest Mango

        I’m a golf fan!!!

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

          …But are you an active participant in the sport- as an athlete and watcher?

          • LMNOP

            You know most wives of football players don’t play football, right?

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

              Yes, but this is about a particular group of women who you know for a fact don’t watch a certain sport though- that’s where this is going.

      • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

        @ PA- Yeah, I started to make that point too. U can tell neither of them got that much play from black women back in the day. (Although I’d imagine RGIII would’ve gotten more play from black chicks than Tiger) The difference is that Tiger flat out denied being black. RGIII isn’t rejecting his blackness (hard to when both of your parents are black I guess lol) he’s just doing things that black people tend not to approve of. Tiger got all kinds of support from black folks but more or less shunned them. RGIII’s just being an individual. Just seems like there’s a difference. Then again a lot of mixed people don’t identify as black and I’m not mad at them for it, I just don’t consider them black…cause they don’t want me to…

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

          “Then again a lot of mixed people don’t identify as black and I’m not mad at them for it, I just don’t consider them black…cause they don’t want me to…”

          At least until they get their wake up call, that’s when they want to be Black then, LMAO!!!

          • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

            hahaha right! reminders are painful lol

        • Rewind

          What blackness was Tiger supposed to embrace? His pops was black. That’s about as Black as his life got, end of the story. Tiger wasn’t chillin with cousins or going to family bbqs, he was hitting the golf course all his life, and his peers were rich white kids. So when he came out to the scene and Black America was like “fawk yea, we got this now”…Tiger sitting there like “who the fawk are you people”?

          • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

            Lol, yeah i get all that Rewind. I’m just saying I lost respect for him when he thought he was above the one drop rule that the rest of us were forced to accept. It’s not like we made the rule. Made him seem particularly arrogant/self-important…his life though, do you homie #shruglife

      • Dreamlover225

        Once you become rich/famous, you’re on every woman’s radar.

  • http://www.writingsofamidlifeman.com J. Delancy

    In the words of Richard Pryor, “Preach ni**a preach!” What other group of people measure themselves on being white ,yellow, red, brown, etc’ enough’? Yes, Rob did call foul on something not nice, but he illustrated a bigger problem that black people are still struggling with: Identity.
    I think both Rob and RGIII need to be more concerned about their humanity and less about their blackness.

    • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

      I don’t think Griffin was ever concerned about his blackness, which was the main problem Parker had.

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

        Which is baffling because as a sportswriter Rob should know first hand how black QBs are scrutinized, RGIII is getting love from both sides why would he polarize himself like Vince Young di

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        right. thats why Rob Parker, idiot that he is – and yes i truly believe this, takes issue. this is why i hate black people sometimes.

    • http://ladyngo.blogspot.com Lady Ngo

      Trust, every racial/ethnic community does it, its just that they keep their business “in house”.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        I was thinking the same thing. This isn’t just a black American issue.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        Trust, every racial/ethnic community does it, its just that they keep their business “in house”.

        ***nodding head***

      • Asiyah

        Lady Ngo is right.

    • Adonis

      @J. Delancy

      Its funny because black is the pinnacle of humanity BTW.

      Take it however you want.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

      “I think both Rob and RGIII need to be more concerned about their humanity and less about their blackness.”

      This is a great idea- and one I’ve been saying for a number of years. The trouble with it is that if you live by this credo, you will be accused of being ashamed of your race.

  • AfroPetite

    RGIII is one of the most articulate black men I’ve seen in the NFL and I am here for all of his enunciation, poise, and overall awesomeness on and off field (minus those God awful plaits).

    If his fiance was shaped liked CoCo I don’t think his blackness would be questioned. Finding a whooty

    • AfroPetite

      Cont’d

      Finding a whooty maintains a black man’s “authenticity” because she’s not a plain Jane white chick. She’s got a little something extra lol

      • http://testorshia.blogspot.com Tes

        But why can’t a man’s “blackness” be on his own merits and not on who he dates? And who comes up with the rules for “blackness” anyway? And what are the requirements and who are the judges for, say, Asianness or Italianness?

        • Iceprincess2

          Aisanness: if you have a 4.0 gpa every year. Italianess: if you can make one hell of a red sauce :-)

          • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

            You going to hell! (Save me a seat.)

          • Adonis

            @IcePrincess LMAO

          • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

            No, Italianness is making a red sauce and calling it gravy. ;)

          • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

            Asianess cant drive for sh** and are easily irritated.

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

              There’s a very high Asian population here in Auburn…and I’ll just say they don’t believe in obeying traffic laws and/or signs…

              • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

                War Eagle what’s good…
                I went to skegee. we STAYED at y’all walmart.

        • AfroPetite

          Lol I dont make the rules up Tes.

          I just know what I observe others say/do :-)

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          “And who comes up with the rules for “blackness” anyway? ”

          So…you haven’t received your handbook?

          • Kema

            Saw this test posted by a clutch commenter. Now you never have to wonder if you are black enough.

            Rob Parker Scale of Blackness
            http://i.imgur.com/HUCqG.jpg

            • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

              Lmao Kema. D*mn, guess I’m not very black at all lol

    • SweetSass

      Articulate or articulate for an NFL player? I saw an interview where, no joke, he said “you know” fifty times with five minutes. Other moronic sounding NFL players say “uhhhh” or “ummmm” but he says “you know.”

      Let’s not redefine words here. Smh.

      • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

        But he says you know with clarity. You’d do the same with all them cameras and mics in your face. That’s nervousness, not blackness.

      • Adonis

        @SweetsAss

        I see we need to throw you in a ditch EARLY today.

        If a person is working hard to be the best they can be in a certain profession (athletics), (s)he can’t a break for not devoting enough time to try to be more articulate.

        Women are just naturally better at communicating than men wholesale. You should be proud.

        So, for the first many times I have to check your hypocrite feminist drivel (because men are superior to women in all but a few key spots).

        SitYoAzzDown

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          SweetSass, Adonis…WTF at both of you! Like seriously. Go play in traffic or something. Or at least ride your hobby horses elsewhere. *smh*

          I sense 404s in their future. Or is that just hope…

          • Adonis

            @Todd

            What are 404s?

            And I knew you was not far behind.

        • SweetSass

          People who work at it can be articulate. Communication is not a gender thing. Last time I checked, Shakespeare was a man.

          I’m pointing out how their parents or themselves put all their eggs in the ‘football’ basket and so they make a lot of money quick… but they don’t have the smarts.

          60% of football players end up bankrupt after their careers end.

          It’s because of the culture of ignorance. They get free rides in college and don’t take a single finance course? Can’t watch an hour of Suze Orman?

          • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

            Come on now. You already KNOW most of the dudes in the league ain’t never had nuthin (YES i know that was a double negative). So how you expect someone to know how to maintain a NEW benz, and they’ve never even had a used toyota?

            One course can’t change someone’s spending habits. They even have financial seminars at the combine to educate these guys on spending habits.

            But the saying stands. Easy come, easy go.

            if you were waiting 20 years on a payday, you might trick some too. They just tricked too much.

      • AfroPetite

        Like I said, he’s one of the most articulate black men I’ve seen in the NFL.

        I can play the semantics game but it’s a losing battle.

        You got it.

        • SweetSass

          To me… Don Lemon is articulate.

          Having lowered expectations of people does no one any good. If people who can barely speak are now considered ‘articulate’ … then articulate has lost all meaning. Just like Champ’s post about ‘beautiful’ losing it’s meaning.

          To me, it’s more offensive to suggest such low benchmarks…

          • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MicTheMessenger

            It’s Don Lemon’s CAREER to be articulate. Of course he’s going to be articulate. RG3’s job is to ball. And that he does.

            You can’t ask a fireman to be good at skydiving too.

        • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

          Agreed AfroPetite. Good point. I liked your post. Definitely articulate and poised. A natural born leader.

      • http://twitter.com/kjnetic sith king jordan

        “Other moronic sounding NFL players say “uhhhh” or “ummmm” but he says “you know.””

        i hope that you’re not trying to imply or infer intelligence because someone uses a lot of “uhhh” “errr” “you know”s in their vocabulary. the term for that is technically “speech disfluency” aka “filler” and a lot of people do that, including our ahhh… current ..ahhhh President (if you couldn’t tell, his filler is ‘aahhhh’)
        i had to learn to remove fillers for what i do, and i’ve broken the habit…well 90% of the time, and for athletes, i’m sure not all take communications courses, so they wouldn’t know exactly how to navigate around that.

        but..then again…this is ‘You’…so…. *shrugs*

        • SweetSass

          Which is why I wonder why they even bother to interview most athletes.

        • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

          Thank you sith King Jordan. I didn’t have the patience to point out something so obvious. Be careful explaining obvious sh*t to her though, cause she usually tries to bait people so she can switch the convo to something she wants to talk about.

    • Adonis

      @AfroPetite I like the overall tone of this post

  • msdebbs

    I don’t care who RG3 dates, marries or fcuks I just can’t stand them ugly arse braids..ugh he needs to cut them sh*ts.

    • Beautifullyhuman

      +100 million!! They’re terrible. SMH.

    • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

      Wait, those were braids?! I thought he was going with au naturel with his dreadlocks…

      • Beautifullyhuman

        I think he has “draids”…*kanye shrug*

        • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

          An unnecessary combination of braids and dreads. At least according to two people…

          • Juiciest Mango

            urrrgh! They ooogly as all hell.

            • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

              3 people.

          • Latonya

            I can’t see RG3 with any other hair style. His head is to big for any other hair cut or hair style.

            • Sweet GA Brown

              Its like if he had a fade he would never be able to accomplish true waves.

        • msdebbs

          “draids”

          *DEAD*

        • chameleonic

          LOL.

          • http://www.twitter.com/mcnairian5 Fiveisthenumber

            I think that is the question…what is wrong with that ninja’s head? Is it lumpy? Wopsided? Is his wifey doin that to him? A haircut and braces would stop all the questions about his “quarterbackness”

            • Sweet GA Brown

              I bet his girl wants him to cut his hair too.

              • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

                she probably does it for him still….he’s getting money and i never seen them crisp

                • Sweet GA Brown

                  Nah, thats definitely a style his mother does for him. Becky dont do no plaits. she probably isnt that familiar with a rat tooth comb.

                  Anyway, Im sure he didnt get with her to keep his plaits tight.

                  • Fuzzy Dunlop

                    Chill. My cousin has some of the nappiest hair known to man and he is married to one of the whitest women on the planet and she used to hook his hair UP!! (back when he had braids… you know… b/c what self-respecting adult man has braids in 2012?)

            • chameleonic

              no no. she should be down for the cause, smoke some pot and cornrow it. isnt that what ALL black men want from their white women??

              • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

                In the early 1970’s maybe…

                *hands Chameleonic some blaxploitation films*

                • chameleonic

                  [*wraps them up in christmas paper and secret santas white women*]

        • xLadyTx

          Oh, I’m using “draids” from now on…

        • Royale W. Cheese

          Draids. *dead*

        • http://Twitter.com/ashleysirrah Ashley

          Literally LOL at draids. Sounds as horrible as they look. They’re not thick enough. Two strand twist them, perhaps?

    • msdebbs

      Reminds me of Anthony Davis and that darn unibrow. Yall got money now get that shait fixed.

      • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

        But Anthony Davis’s unibrow is a culmination of all that is pure in life. Like caterpillars. To say that Davis needs to remove his unibrow is to say that purity needs to be removed…that Metta World Peace needs to change his name back to Ron Artest…

        Some stuff is just meant to be.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          That unibrow is meant to be removed. Laser surgery can take care of that.

          Actually Im more irritated with that hideous unibrow than I am RG3s draids.

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

        the unibrow is part of his branding…his teeth on the other hand…he needs to fix that, that should come before buying mama a crib

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          Real talk- dude has a…”striking” face. He doesn’t need the unibrow to brand himself. Wax that sh*t.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          Didn’t he try to trade mark his unibrow?

          • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

            yes he did…he know what he doing

      • Yonnie

        I once dated a dude with a slight uni-brow. I once suggested that said dude get that taken care of. He was highly offended. I never brought it up again.

        • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

          ” get that taken care of”

          Lol.

  • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

    e if RG3 did all of this as a strictly pocket passer (read: without the blazing 4.3 40 time). Then this would be a whole another story. Since it’s not, I can’t really give RG3 props for being different as far as being the stereotypical black quarterback on the field.

    Anyway, this reminds me of an article I read a while back. It was when Donovan McNabb was still in Philly and not being placed behind Rex Grossman and John Beck on the Washington Redskins’s depth chart. The president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP had attacked McNabb for staying in the pocket and not scrambling as often as he did earlier in his career.

    It’s just a reminder that Blacks, not just those who play quarterback but those in general, still face an uphill battle. Not only from other races but from our race as well.

    • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

      Man…I think that article might have actually been dumber than the stuff Rush Limbaugh said about him – and one has to do something special to even get close to Rush in my book.

      • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

        Yeah. One of the things I noticed is that Donnie Mac always seemed to be in the middle of some $h!t when it came to the media. From Rush Limbaugh, to the NAACP thing to the comment he made on Inside the NFL, dude was always wrapped up in some media fabricated controversy. Of course, playing in Philly didn’t exactly help matters.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          Word. Donovan McNabb is definitely on my top 5 Sports Stars Hated In Their Own City. Some of the stuff I would read about him would just make me shake my head. I’m surprised he just didn’t crack up one day and fall out in tears.

    • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

      “I can’t really give RG3 props for being different as far as being the stereotypical black quarterback on the field.”

      Except he’s not…if you actually watch you’ll see that he doesn’t scramble nearly as much as Vick and Vince Young did when they came into the league. Having the speed to scramble (or a coach who utilizes your speed by running the option pitch) doesn’t make you stereotypical UNLESS you have accuracy issues, decision-making issues, or couldn’t pass from the pocket that well if necessary. He actually can pass from the pocket and is very accurate (especially compared to any other black QB other than maybe Warren Moon who was a pocket passer), so I disagree with you there, even though I see why you would say that based on the offense the Skins run right now.

      • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

        Having the speed to scramble (or a coach who utilizes your speed by running the option pitch) doesn’t make you stereotypical UNLESS you have accuracy issues, decision-making issues, or couldn’t pass from the pocket that well if necessary.

        I agree with that. But because of the offense the Skins run (and the Mike Shanahan system that requires a QB to roll out of the pocket) coupled with his Olympic track speed makes it hard for me to agree with that. Especially if one remembers Byron Leftwich, who is probably the only starting QB in the modern-day NFL that was a Black pure pocket passer. And a statue in the pocket.

        • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

          @ The Human Spider yeah I was thinkin about Leftwich too. I guess my thing is it’s unfair to stereotype him just because he has the ability to run. That’s like punishing someone for having a talent. Why would I wanna praise him for being slow and having to be a statue? Just because it’s unexpected?

          It’s like calling a person who’s 6’4 250 and incredibly strong a bully just because they have the ability to whoop most folks’ *ss. Give RGIII a few years and he’ll be mostly a pocket passer who can break free and get the first down with his feet occasionally. Shannahan won’t call all those option plays for long. That’s the future of his franchise he’s playin with like that.

  • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

    First, Parker: he’s been an idiot, long before this. The only people who are truly shocked he said anything that stupid are people who’ve never heard of him until 15 minutes ago (figuratively speaking, although I guess it could apply in a ‘fame’ sense). The only authority Parker has on blackness is that his speech bears a striking resemblance to that of Daffy Duck, and the biggeth thurprithe to me wath that he got the whole thatement out clearly.

    To the bigger issue, no one person can define blackness. Even the most common ‘definition’ would have to be something that fits most of us and that most of us decide on. We start down a slippery slope when we use small sample sizes – even large ones, to be accurate – and especially when we refer to certain acts to define something that most people can’t define correctly anyway. Who we marry, what we listen to, what college we attended, what food we eat…none of those has anything to do with our blackness, other than the unnecessary importance we place so that we feel “black enough”, or “more black than the next person”.

    Every person who comments today may have a different definition of what “authentically black” is, which makes all of those definitions wrong. If something is truly authentic, it is unquestionable. There’s no gray area or room for interpretation. As Q-Tip once said, black is black. Period.

    People who go overboard in “proving their blackness” or, even worse, consider themselves to be some sort of judge and jury on the subject, often tend to display the worst stereotypes attributed to blackness in doing so. Stated another way, their attempts to make blackness clear often end up pushing blackness into a gray area.

    • http://twitter.com/HumanSpiderACNJ The Human Spider

      And then, in an effort to prove said “Blackness,” you have a real life version of “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.”

    • chameleonic

      [*nodding head at last paragraph*] i agree. judges and those on the jury tend to measure blackness according to those stereotypes and negative portrayals were tryna distance ourselves from. and in continuously doing this such people make themselves known as what is referenced as “we can do better than that.”

      if anything i think people who break the mold do it to our benefit as a community and if we wanna preserve our culture, lets get down to the core of it.

      our core culture as blacks, what is it?

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      First, Parker: he’s been an idiot, long before this. The only people who are truly shocked he said anything that stupid are people who’ve never heard of him until 15 minutes ago (figuratively speaking, although I guess it could apply in a ‘fame’ sense).

      Thank you for saying this. Dude has made a career of saying idiotic racial stuff like this. He was doing this back when I was in high school, and I’m 33 now. When I saw he got a job with ESPN, I figured that they were desperate for ratings. After all, why else would you hire someone that incendiary?

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

        yes he got away with things when it was skip and jay, you see stephen a and cari wasnt bout to let that comment ride

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=masthead-dropdown Perverted Alchemist

      “People who go overboard in “proving their blackness” or, even worse, consider themselves to be some sort of judge and jury on the subject, often tend to display the worst stereotypes attributed to blackness in doing so.”

      Ding! Ding! Ding!

      • miss t-lee

        Indeed.