ESPN fires commentator Parker after questioning Griffin’s ‘blackness’

Posted Jan. 08, 2013, at 5:26 p.m.

ESPN announced Tuesday that it fired commentator Rob Parker, who was on suspension for comments he made last month about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew,” an ESPN spokesman said in a statement.

During an airing of the network’s “First Take” show on Dec. 13, Parker (who is African American) questioned Griffin’s “blackness” and called him a “cornball brother” because he has a white fiancee.

Parker was put on 30-day suspension on Dec. 20.

Parker later apologized for the comments but in a recent interview with Detroit TV station “Flashpoint” Channel 4, he said ESPN knew in advance that he was going to make the comments and that many took his “cornball brother” statement out of context.

ESPN also re-aired Parker’s comments on a “Best of First Take” a day after the original episode was broadcast.

The network later apologized after receiving public criticism.

 

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