I have a like/hate relationship with Rob Parker, our relationship, at one point, was so strong I visited him in New York City and we had a cool weekend. He showed me around the city, he introduced me to his family and we went to Yankee stadium and hung out. Over the years our relationship became strained as I hired and fired him as the Morning Show Host at WDFN. I always felt like Rob had talent, but I thought he came back to Detroit from New York a changed person. Not sure why, but things just weren’t as they were when he was Stoney’s co-host on WDFN.
Rob’s been in a mess recently with his comments about RGIII being a “cornball brother,” I won’t pretend to understand what that is, but I am sure it is lingo that is used in the black community to degrade another black man who isn’t perceived as being black enough. Like it or not, this is a very real issue in the black community. I’ve seen many, many black people who are very concerned about how they are viewed by black within their own communities. The black community is very difficult to navigate for black people; it is a reality.
What Rob said was ill-advised based on the complete lack of rational thought in our country right now, he was raising a very real point. He just may not have been the best person to articulate it. He has too much baggage to start a conversation of this depth, there is far too much water under the racial bridge for Rob to be seen as a steady voice on the issue. His brand is, he’s a race pimp. Sorry, that is just fact. His credibility among black people may be high, but the other half of the audience thinks he’s a bomb thrower and just tune out. That isn’t a recipe for good debate or conversation.
In the end ESPN cut and ran on Parker, he should not have been fired for this, they used him for all the publicity they could get and then cut him loose. ESPN is shameless. It’s ridiculous that ESPN would hire Rob to push the envelope and then dump him when he did exactly what he was hired to do. Steven A. Smith has said far worse and these hasn’t been a hint of unhappiness with him at ESPN.
Rob’s appearance with Devin Scillian leads me to believe he has a gig already nailed down with Channel 4 in Detroit. Why would you say a negative word about ESPN while you were sitting out a suspension if y ou didn’t already have a job nailed down? I’d look for him to settle in at WDIV and keep a low profile for a while.