Rob Parker, the ESPN analyst who asked if a black Redskins quarterback is a “cornball brother,” will be suspended for 30 days. In a statement addressing the matter, ESPN’s vice-president of production, Marcia Keegan, noted the network’s errors in assembling the episode of “First Take” and of re-airing it without cutting out Parker’s comments about race. Keegan dismissed the comments, made about Robert Griffin III, as “inappropriate.”
The suspension started last Friday and will continue from that point. To prevent future issues from unfolding, ESPN plans “enhanced editorial oversight.” And it seems that Parker isn’t the only party facing discipline. Keegan said that others who were responsible for the comments airing have also faced “appropriate” ramifications.
Parker has already admitted that he “blew it” in making his “cornball brother” comments and that he hopes to apologize to Griffin directly. In an open letter published on Twitter, he wrote:
I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback 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. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN’s reaction. Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught – with dignity, respect and pride. I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Parker, who is also African American, unleashed his comments while speaking about Griffin and his career last week.
“Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,” Parker said. “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.”
Then, the analyst mentioned the football player’s “white fiancée” as well as the notion that Griffin may be a Republican. He pondered whether he is “a brother, or a cornball brother.”
(H/T: USA Today)