The hammer dropped on ESPN's Rob Parker Friday morning. ESPN announced this morning the pundit/debater/instigator was "suspended until further notice" for his incendiary comments about Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III on Thursday's edition First Take.
Update: "Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review."— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) December 14, 2012
The question will now become whether or not Parker will be able to keep his job at ESPN. This is far from his first embarrassing controversy, but the nationwide attention his comments about RGIII gained was unprecedented. The continued backlash and outrage against Parker may make it difficult for ESPN to bring him back under any circumstances. His reckless questioning of RGIII's authenticity, race, fiance and political beliefs have no place anywhere in decent public discourse.
ESPN has taken swift and appropriate action in quickly moving to suspend him. The question moving forward will be whether or not the network learns from this latest controversy produced by its morning debate show. (And of course, what happens to Weekend First Take starring Rob Parker!) This also is not the first time First Take has been under heavy criticism for their discussion on issues of race, but it is certainly the most widespread that criticism has reached. After all, even The Iron Sheik is taking notice...
Is this the wake up moment for ESPN's debate style programming, and First Take in particular, that feeds upon stereotypes, ginned-up controversy, name-calling, and mudslinging?
Let's hope so.
Here's the comments that started it all again if you missed it...
I agree this was totally uncalled for. I was hoping that he meant to say it differently. Like if he said "this is what people are wondering," it wouldn't have been as bad. But he said "I" personally. Either way, I don't know where he was trying to go with that or why he would say something so stupid, that actually sounded ignorant. It sounds like he has a personal grudge against him. If anything, he should be defending someone of his own ethnicity. This show has some good debates, but sometimes it's boardline risque with its topicals. I missed the beginning of it, but why they would even breach the subject of what type of African-American RGIII is, sounds pointless and stupid. For the record, I don't know him, but RGIII seems like a well spoken, intelligent guy. Bottomline: find some better content to talk about and yeah axe that guy. It was uncomfortable for me as a white guy to hear that.
Parker's career with ESPN should be over. He's caught so much hell, rightfully so. We need less people like him on ESPN and more people with common sense.
espn created this phenomenon of the celebrity sportswriter. espn is suppose to be about sports. yet skip bayless, SAS, and tony kornheiser get more screen time than kobe bryant. parker is just a product of that environment. it is a plague that has gone beyond the confines of espn and has seeped into all of sports journalism.
Rush Limbaugh when briefly touching on this story called First Take a 'Typically Pointless Designed-For-Controversy-Only ESPN Show'. Yeah, that's about right.
"Is this the wake up moment for ESPN's debate style programming, and First Take in particular, that feeds upon stereotypes, ginned-up controversy, name-calling, and mudslinging?" Nope. It will be more of the same whether Parker is involved or not. Controversies like this are never a bad thing. People who never heard of First Take may tune in and no one is going to stop watching it now that ESPN has taken swift action (and WHO THE F WATCHES THIS SHOW?!?). Sad, but this can only make First Take an even bigger brand on ESPN.
Thank you ESPN. As an African-American who spent my life having my "blackness" questioned by some of my own people (white people never questioned it), it's good to see that such "intra-racist" comments also has consequences.
i dealt with this most of my life. i was told i want "black" enough growing up. again i dont blame rob parker. i blame espn for allowing this culture where sports has taken a back seat to stupid debates and sportswriters trying to make a name for themselves.
jd4000 why would you blame ESPN? They are a network in the business of attracting viewers. If people didn't watch (and they do, even though most of you will deny you do, it would not be on TV: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/09/26/cari-champion-joins-espn-as-host-of-first-take-as-show-ratings-surge/150267/)
By your premise or should I say "excuse" is like saying music industry lables are at fault for Rap music which perpuates a urban street cred mentatlity among us blacks and the use of the word n*gga- If it didnt sell, if the public didnt purchase, it would not be accepted. Mr Parker's actions are his and his alone and he should take the bullit. Dont tunn this into a bash ESPN thing which seems to be this website's favorite pastime. Dont hate the game cause the game aint changing, only the players...
@Livineasy Understand your point on not blaming it all on the network, but this has been building up for sometime. In the last few weeks, we have Stephan A. Smith calling Washington DC "Chocolate City" and using the "N" word on TV.
Meanwhile, Skip is saying he roots for white players because he's white and says Obama is 100% black because he looks black. Stupid people working over at ESPN..same can be said on NFL network...Maybe it's drawing ratings? I change it to another channel. Too many topics regarding race.
@jd4000 I have no idea why they give people like him time to speak. There is really nothing good that comes from him making those comments except the suspension. That means we don't have to listen to him again hopefully ever.