ESPN Lets Rob Parker Go
Rob Parker will not be retained as a commentator by ESPN. This separation comes on the heels of Parker’s controversial comments challenging Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III’s “blackness.” During a Dec. 13 taping of First Take on ESPN 2, Parker asked of Griffin, who has a white fiance and has been rumored to be a Republican, “Is he a brother or a cornball brother?”
On Dec. 20, ESPN suspended Parker for a month, and this misstep ultimately played a role in the two parting ways.
"Rob Parker's contract expired at year's end," ESPN said Tuesday. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RG III comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”
Griffin III avoided getting into a war of words at the time of the incident. “I am an African-American in America,” Griffin III said in a news conference, USA Today reports. “But I don't have to be defined by that."
A little less than a week after the incident Parker apologized on Twitter. “I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive (cont) https://tl.gd/kdio2q.”
This is not the first time an African American quarterback has been challenged by the media because of his race. In 2003, Rush Limbaugh questioned how much race was a factor in evaluating then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.