Rob Parker on OMF defends claim that Boston is 'most racist sports city in America'

Alex Reimer
September 18, 2018 - 5:23 pm

FS1 personality Rob Parker is one of Boston’s biggest critics. Over the last few years, he’s tossed verbal bombs towards the Patriots, Tom Brady and the city itself. 

Finally, on Tuesday, he defended his words in an interview with OMF.

While the interview started off with banter about the Patriots’ loss to the Jaguars Sunday –– Parker gloated about Jacksonville’s win on Twitter and challenged WEEI to book him as a guest –– the bulk of the conversation centered around Parker’s controversial claim that Boston is the “most racist sports city in America.” When asked to defend himself, Parker cited several racial incidents, including Canadiens forward P.K. Subban receiving racist tweets from purported Boston fans after a playoff series and Adam Jones saying he was called the n-word at Fenway Park. 

When Parker was informed the majority of the tweets directed from Subban originated from accounts outside of Boston, he returned to Jones. “Even when Adam Jones was called the n-word, and then other players –– CC Sabathia said he’s played in the big leagues forever, and the only place he said he’s ever been called the n-word is in Boston, there have been other players,” he explained. “I’ve talked to so many NBA players. A lot of people just don’t like –– and I’m not saying everybody in Boston. I have plenty of friends who are there, grew up there. I know people. But there’s just something that doesn’t feel good.”

Parker, who previously covered the Pistons for the Detroit Free Press, relayed a story about his own experience at a Boston restaurant, where he felt like he was denied service because of his race. 

“I went to a restaurant in Boston –– me and another black sportswriter, this is when I covered the NBA –– to get a meal, and I asked for my steak to be butterfly cut,” he said. “The woman looked at me –– the restaurant wasn’t even crowded, but it doesn’t matter. I was paying for a steak. If I ask for it to be butterfly cut, what would you do as a chef? The woman had the nerve to come to me and say, ‘We’re too busy to do that.’ I said, ‘Oh really? OK, thank you.’ 

“I’m telling you, I felt like the only reason she didn’t want to give me what I wanted is because I was black. That was the feeling I got. I walked out, because obviously I’m not going to pay a place that isn’t going to treat me the way I want to be treated. … You’ve got to understand, in all of these situations, it’s just a feeling you have, and the way you’ve been treated. It’s not math. Two-and-two is four. Everything is not math. But there’s a feeling you get. I’ve been to places where people are rude, or it’s a terrible business. But I’m telling you, that day, that was something I’ll never forget. Even the guy who was with me, and wasn’t looking for his steak to be butterfly cut, looked at me, and had the same exact feeling. We both walked out and said, ‘Obviously, we’re never going to give them our money.’”

Towards the end of the interview, Christian Fauria, a Los Angeles native, pressed Parker on why Boston has a worse rep than other cities across the country –– including LA, home of the Watts riots and Rodney King beating. Parker returned to the racial history of the city.

“I don’t know what everyone else has gone through,” Parker said. “It’s not just me talking about it. It’s been forever. Maybe some people can’t let go of the bad stuff that has happened, and they hold onto it, so any other kind of incident that happens –– it might be Adam Jones, or the hockey player from the Canadians, or something like that –– it just brings it back up, so people return to the past, and say, ‘There’s Boston. There it goes again.’ I think that’s why people keep going back to it.”