ESPNís Rob Parker suspended 30 days for RG3 racial slur
“Well, he’s black, he kind of does his thing. But he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Rob Parker clarified on his “cornball brother” comment in reference to Robert Griffin III’s personal life and political take, while casting doubts on the rookie’s authenticity and connection with his authenticity roots. “He’s kind of black. But he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with because he’s off to do something else.”
The discipline was announced in a statement released by ESPN vice president/production Marcia Keegan on Thursday.
"ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode of ‘First Take,’” said Marcia Keegan. “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,” continued Marcia Keegan. “Both were errors on our part.”
Rob Parker’s suspension will last 30 days after picking-up from last Friday, when he was initially removed from ESPN’s broadcast.
Marcia Keegan said that due to Rob Parker’s on-air unfiltered insensitive comments about rookie Robert Griffin III, that drew a widespread backlash from social media, going forward the First Take will have “enhanced the editorial oversight.” She guaranteed ESPN has also “taken appropriate disciplinary measures” against the individuals “responsible for these failures.”
Marcia Keegan continued that First Take will continue to preserve its journalistic value and carry-on debating on all “integral” parts of sports “including race.”
“However, we believe what we have learned here,” said Marcia Keegan, “and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
ESPN’s decision over suspending its commentator only comes a day after Rob Parker publically acknowledged that he “blew it” on-air with the racial card. Rob Parker also apologized for the disparaging remarks against the “talented athlete” Robert Griffin III, who boasts a remarkable poise on and off-field that reflects great “dignity, respect and pride.”
“I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care…I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African American quarterback,” said Rob Parker, “and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African American community.”
“The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on 'First Take,' and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one,” added Rob Parker. “I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN’s reaction.”