Rob Parker will not be losing his job with ESPN for his comments calling Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a “cornball brother,” during a discussion about race. Instead, he’s being suspended for 30 days before he can return to work.
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Parker made his controversial comments on ESPN’s First Take, which has drawn some criticism from sports blogs for inspiring the over-coverage of Tim Tebow, and for the continued employment of Skip Bayless. Parker was suspended indefinitely the day the episode aired, and issued a public apology yesterday. This morning ESPN read his apology on air on SportsCenter. Whether his suspension starts today, or is retroactive, remains unclear.
This is ESPN’s official statement announcing the suspension:
“ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode ofFirst Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
“To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on First Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
Because of Parker’s comments, and that they were included in a re-aired episode of First Take, the show will see “enhanced editorial oversight,” which is pleasing some of ESPN’s harshest critics.
Whether Parker will even be watching RGIII play this weekend remains to be seen. He’s still questionable for Sunday’s game, a game in which the Redskins can make the playoffs with a win and some help from divisional rivals, with a knee injury.