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ESPN suspends Rob Parker “until further notice”

Austin Rivers - First Take - September 19, 2012

ESPN has suspended columnist and commentator Rob Parker indefinitely after he said on the air Thursday Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “black, but he’s not really,” because Griffin is engaged to a white woman.

“Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review,” ESPN said in a statement.

That further review should include not just Parker, but also everything about the show on which Parker made his comments on Thursday morning, ESPN First Take. It’s telling that when ESPN aired Best of First Take on Thursday afternoon, it included Parker’s comments. That’s because First Take thrives on provoking controversies with its panelists making outrageous claims, and it wasn’t until Parker’s comments were the subject of widespread criticism later in the day that ESPN felt the need to acknowledge the comments were inappropriate.

Just as the producers who decided to include Parker’s comments on the “Best Of” show apparently saw nothing wrong with them, Parker is clearly taken aback by ESPN suspending him: He initially defended his comments and called his critics “uneducated” and “silly” for questioning him. Parker has had nothing to say publicly since ESPN released a statement on Thursday evening that his comments were inappropriate.

On Friday morning’s edition of First Take, Parker’s comments were never mentioned. Although panelists Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith had a shouting match about Griffin, they touched only on whether he would be able to lead the Redskins to victory on Sunday while playing through a knee injury, and made no comment at all about Griffin’s personal life. Parker is probably wishing right now that he had made no comment at all about Griffin’s personal life, either.

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161 Responses to “ESPN suspends Rob Parker “until further notice””
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 14, 2012 11:59 AM

    Hey Rob, enjoy irrelevance and unemployment, cornball.

  2. captainvilfo says: Dec 14, 2012 12:00 PM

    Thank God, he’s the only person I cant stand more than Stephen A. Smith.

  3. rc33 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:01 PM

    This is blatantly unfair.
    Wait ’til Eric Holder gets a piece of you, ESPN.

  4. dexterismyhero says: Dec 14, 2012 12:01 PM

    HaHa! Sorry Rob.

  5. corytrevor says: Dec 14, 2012 12:01 PM

    Rob Parker is a joke. Unfortunately when I’m around from 9-1 I tune into First Take and and every time that clown is brought in the topic is race. We get it, you’re black and the majority of athletes are black. Let it go, most people don’t look at race anymore

  6. cnote94 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:02 PM

    It is not enough to suspend Parker. The best way to end this nonsense is for RGIII to refuse requests, interviews, etc with any ESPN affiliate until Parker is fired.

  7. jbl429 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:02 PM

    Good.

  8. cwillz13 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:02 PM

    GOOD!!!! Talk about football, not who he wants to date.. Should have been suspended since yesterday

  9. wolfpack152 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:02 PM

    Ignorant, uneducated scapegoat gets suspended by ignorant, uneducated, unentertaining, has-been sports network – good riddance to both.

  10. JackAcid says: Dec 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    What is equally disturbing about his comments is that he has no clue why it’s wrong. Is he that arrogant, or just slow? I am guessing a little of both.

    Guess that makes me “silly” and “uneducated”.

  11. skinzfan10 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    Good.

  12. redbullenergydrink says: Dec 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    Not sure why he believed saying what he said on air would not warrant a response like this from ESPN.

  13. hossmandu says: Dec 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    Another in the growing line of highly educated, but stupid racists.

  14. chattanola says: Dec 14, 2012 12:03 PM

    During the segment containing the “cornball brother” remark it was also mentioned that the topic had been discussed during the pre-show production meeting. Wonder if the producer is in any trouble.

  15. hossmandu says: Dec 14, 2012 12:04 PM

    His arrogance is similar to another Columbia attendee. Ring a bell?

  16. sirhulka says: Dec 14, 2012 12:05 PM

    Good, and hopefully this loser doesn’t get another gig elsewhere. His comments were beyond ignorant and pathetic. God forbid, RG3 coducts himself in a classy manner, so he’s not “black enough.” That’s essentially what this idiot said.

  17. cash804 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:05 PM

    Good riddance “homey”…

  18. sellout3871 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:06 PM

    GOOD

  19. smokingconch says: Dec 14, 2012 12:06 PM

    Good first step. I still want to see an apology to RGIII s fiance. The poor girl had to publicly hear that she was unfit for him because of her skin color. That’s just disgusting. And I would tell Rob Parker “pot meet kettle” over his uneducated comments but I doubt he finds either black enough.

  20. prince5000 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:07 PM

    why is he not fired? ESPN fired (and rightfully so) Rush Limbaugh after his comments about Mcnabb – and this is WAY more over the top.

  21. jeg07 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:07 PM

    Yes way, yes how!

  22. humbleminded85 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:10 PM

    I still don’t why they make me watch NFL Matchup at 3 in the friggn morning.

  23. udontknowjacku says: Dec 14, 2012 12:10 PM

    well deserved!!!! What a clown

  24. wtfpft says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    Do people actually still watch ESPN?

  25. joetoronto says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    Good. I still won’t watch ESPN though, other than MNF.

  26. ballistictrajectory says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    Yet another feather in the Disney cap…

  27. robataille says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    The producers of the show should be held accountable as well…

  28. rcbn says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    Touchy touchy touchy! Is this not standard operating procedure for ESPN? How many shows in the past have we had controversy? I for one want the immediate closing down of ESPN completely!

  29. bigks77 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:11 PM

    Evil 4 letter network!

  30. 4drams says: Dec 14, 2012 12:13 PM

    The Mother Ship gets it right this time!

  31. sgruth33 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:13 PM

    1 down, now if they would take ‘first take’ off the air I’d be completely satisfied

  32. tigershark49 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:13 PM

    The only thing i know about this nobody is he is racist.

  33. AlanSaysYo says: Dec 14, 2012 12:14 PM

    Sure, Rob Parker is an idiot for making those comments, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN gave him those talking points. We’ll be able to tell whose idea it was… if Parker disappears for awhile and then gets reassigned, we’ll know Parker was doing what ESPN asked of him. Otherwise he should be fired.

  34. giantsfan2104 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:15 PM

    Cornballed!

  35. shrowd says: Dec 14, 2012 12:15 PM

    It speaks volumes that espn has pulled the podcast for yesterdays show. And not one word, tweet, or comment from Rob Parker’s biggest supporters in espn. Skip and Stephen must realize that their jobs could also be on the line here.

  36. mrcincinnati says: Dec 14, 2012 12:15 PM

    i never liked that guy anyway..thats Skip’s and Stephen A’s show…

  37. bolts0621 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:16 PM

    Geez, those ESPN guys are really uneducated and silly.

  38. bengalsstillsuck says: Dec 14, 2012 12:16 PM

    This guy is racist i think everytime something is brought up he goes the race way he needs fired.

  39. mgflolox says: Dec 14, 2012 12:17 PM

    I’ll say this much, while his comments were obviously out of line and inappropriate, he does have a legitimate beef the bosses at ESPN. After all, they encourage their commentators to spew this kind of over-the-top nonsense.

  40. iamthorny says: Dec 14, 2012 12:18 PM

    Rob Parker is employed, but not really… He’s suspended right now, and I really don’t know enough to know whether he’s still an employee or will be down at the unemployment line waiting on his check.

  41. green41563 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:19 PM

    It’s a sad and dangerous state of affairs when a man who’s paid to give opinions is fired or suspended from work because the powers that be decide that they don’t like the opinion he gave.

    The freedom of speech is an idea that obviously predated the Bill of Rights and thus, at least philosophically, expands far beyond the relatively slim legal protection found to be afforded by the First Amendment in respect of state action.

    The general thrust of freedom of speech as an idea—as distinct from the First Amendment—is that a human being has a right to his opinion no matter that some people find it bigoted, racist, ignorant, or what have you. Private company or not, punishing people for venturing unpopular opinions creates a very perilous climate.

  42. blahblahblah1313 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:19 PM

    The more people comment about this loser the more he basks in it. IGNORE the fool. Racism knows no color

  43. ironmike778 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:21 PM

    It’s amazing how many losers work at ESPN. The entire network is unwatchable. Has been for a decade at least.

  44. roadtrip3500 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:21 PM

    Unfortunately, this is how the sports channels are operating these days. Hire someone they know will eventually shoot themselves in the foot and wait patiently for such incident. Let it collect publicity for 24 hours. Announce a suspension pending further review. Again, let simmer. Terminate employee, with the classic morality statement “we don’t tolerate such behavior”. Ignore the criticism that you allowed it to happen in the first place.

    I watch ESPN for exactly two things… Monday Night Football and if my baseball team is on Sunday Night Baseball. That’s it. I watch none of their other programming. And I used to make sure I watched the Chris Berman/Gayle Gardner and Dan Patrick/Keith Olbermann 11pm SportsCenters – I can’t watch 2 seconds of SC now.

  45. glac1 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:25 PM

    He’s proof that “quota’s” requiring equality in the workplace is wrong and counter productive.

  46. intergalacticbronco says: Dec 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    ESPN is becoming more and more of a circus. They seem to take a Jerry Springer approach: hire clowns that, though low on substance, are adept at making incendiary comments in order to go after the controversial short-term high-ratings / low-hanging fruit.

  47. godzilla111111 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:26 PM

    Greaseman

  48. cliffordc05 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:27 PM

    I remember when ESPN launched 24 hour sports and the main question was what would the network do to fill the air time. Unfortunately, they fill it with crap like ‘First Take’. Fake debate inevitably leads to ill advised statements, particularly when the debaters are morons.

  49. ebr362 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:28 PM

    His comment is clearly racist and offensive. A black man isn’t truly black for being engaged to a white woman, give me a break! Had Skip said it, the naacp would be calling for not only his suspension but firing! Its about time equal offensiveness gets equal treatment. Its a shame espn waited so long before taking action.

  50. electionconfidential says: Dec 14, 2012 12:28 PM

    Suspended. With pay? This is reminding me of how the NFL Network handled Warren Sapp’s remarks about Jeremy Shockey… suspending someone while still paying them, then bringing them back after the furor dies down isn’t punishment. It’s encouragement.

  51. hoops737 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:29 PM

    JUSTICE!

  52. aboveaveragejoe11 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:29 PM

    I must say that I am proud to be a reader and poster on PFT when when nearly 100% of the posters have called out this clown and this clownish network. We may disagree about our sports, but we all seem to agree that Parker’s sort of ignorance should not be condoned.

  53. ebr362 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:29 PM

    green41563 says:
    Dec 14, 2012 12:19 PM
    It’s a sad and dangerous state of affairs when a man who’s paid to give opinions is fired or suspended from work because the powers that be decide that they don’t like the opinion he gave.

    The freedom of speech is an idea that obviously predated the Bill of Rights and thus, at least philosophically, expands far beyond the relatively slim legal protection found to be afforded by the First Amendment in respect of state action.

    The general thrust of freedom of speech as an idea—as distinct from the First Amendment—is that a human being has a right to his opinion no matter that some people find it bigoted, racist, ignorant, or what have you. Private company or not, punishing people for venturing unpopular opinions creates a very perilous climate.

    ——————————————-

    I’m sure Jimmy the Greek would have agreed.

  54. bosfaninva says: Dec 14, 2012 12:30 PM

    Oh yeah, Rob, that Columbia degree gives you a ton of street cred. Right, homes?

  55. pacific123ocean says: Dec 14, 2012 12:30 PM

    In the next couple of days, I expect to hear that Rob Parker has been fired. I think ESPN hasn’t done it yet, because the lawyers are doing everything to make sure they can fire him without any repercussions.

  56. japmen says: Dec 14, 2012 12:30 PM

    Best decision ESPN has made in forever. Just get rid of the show period. A bunch of untalented hacks seeing who can cause the most controversy. Parker shouldn’t have a job anywhere anyways. Lack of management’s ability to find good employees.

  57. coltsluckdynasty says: Dec 14, 2012 12:31 PM

    I actually tuned into first take to see if there would be some sort of an apology, or anything said about the subject. I can’t stand skip, he is the epitome of ridiculous. Of course nothing about the comments. I deep down love rg3 and think that he is a very very good quarterback, and very good person that I would love to have my son admire as a role model. He is what a football player in today’s game should represent. He has brought nothing but positives to the NFL, and I am personally happy for all of his success!! To be talked about by a person that is on the same stage with skip bayless, and Stephen smith doesn’t mean anything in the end, and we can all show our support by not watching the ESPN network, there are several networks,websites, and radio shows to get your info from. ESPN deserves a fall from grace as the worldwide leader in sports. I wish NBC would create a 24 hour football channel, so we could actually get good professional opinions from! Come on NBC, the time is now!

  58. 2dmo4 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:32 PM

    Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Now, can we take him off my local station here in Detroit as well? You know what to do WDIV.

  59. holdthemayo123 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:34 PM

    Speaking of ignorant..
    The 1st amendment protects us all from government punishing us for speech. It makes me sad when people know so little as to bring it up in situations like this.

  60. boyshole25 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:35 PM

    Funniest thing is rg3 has more people In his corner now that ever fans from all different teams are backing him up so yea parker thanks “my dogg”

  61. fatguystrangler says: Dec 14, 2012 12:36 PM

    ESPN – another network that would rather be the news than report the news.

  62. goodguyattorney says: Dec 14, 2012 12:38 PM

    It’s hard to imagine, but this whole incident has made me like Stephen A. And now I can’t believe I actually typed out Stephen “A,” twice.

  63. fafaflunky says: Dec 14, 2012 12:38 PM

    yeah why didnt this guy get canned..
    any one thats white would have been
    gone after it aired..getting a little
    tired of it..

  64. shaunypoo says: Dec 14, 2012 12:38 PM

    I don’t think anything will get solved until RG3 if suspended as well. He was the cause of the whole argument.

  65. peytonsneck18 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:39 PM

    he just told the truth, rg3 is in the “house”, if u know what i mean

  66. mikoltz says: Dec 14, 2012 12:39 PM

    Get some “Content of Character” espn and fire that

    Racist
    Obtuse
    Bigot

    Parker

  67. southpaw2k says: Dec 14, 2012 12:39 PM

    prince5000 says:
    Dec 14, 2012 12:07 PM
    why is he not fired? ESPN fired (and rightfully so) Rush Limbaugh after his comments about Mcnabb – and this is WAY more over the top.

    —————————————————

    I agree with half of what you said. Parker should have been canned within 24 hours of his comments being aired. And yes, it’s very hypocritical of ESPN to not can Parker after they quickly canned Limbaugh for his comments about McNabb. However, their firing of Limbaugh was unjustified, in my opinion. Limbaugh’s comments were not racist at all, and they weren’t even directed towards McNabb. He was commenting on how the media and the league wanted to see a black quarterback win, and at the time McNabb was arguably the most well-known black starting quarterback (aside from maybe Daunte Culpepper). Limbaugh didn’t deserve to be canned for his comments, but Parker absolutely should be fired.

  68. mostlombardisintheleague says: Dec 14, 2012 12:40 PM

    Parker, you went as far as to say RGIII is not down with “the cause”, but why didn’t you actually say specifically what “the cause” is ? Why didn’t you go all the way with what you started ? You got suspened anyway, you may as well have spilled the beans. This is an example of why racism will always exist.

  69. classicrocktennisfan1977 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:40 PM

    That’s how it goes just a paid “suspension”. He’ll be back next week with an “apology”. ESPN got what they wanted, the Nielsen meter needle moved. We folks here and the social media-verse is yapping about it. Shock jocks may be the thing of the past. Shock columnists on TV is the order of the day.

    How I hearken back to the days of ESPN in the 80s. Where we had sports center for an hour. Programming throughout the day (AWA/World Class wrestling, Australian Rules Football, The Roller derby, etc.etc.etc.)

  70. weepingjebus says: Dec 14, 2012 12:40 PM

    This setback to “the cause” is nothing a frivolous $200 million lawsuit from Parker and a bunch of Jesse Jackson press conferences won’t fix.

  71. andyreidisthegoat says: Dec 14, 2012 12:41 PM

    Rob Who? Ignore this guy. he will go away. he’s just trying to become famous through outlandish comments.

  72. sosuhme says: Dec 14, 2012 12:44 PM

    So he blew his gig as a columnist and reporter with the Detroit papers by falsely reporting Kirk Cousins was involved in a fight at a campus party when he was actually attending church with his parents, then asking Rod Marinelli an insulting question about whether he wished his daughter married a better defensive coordinator. Now he has blown his gig with ESPN. Apply, lather, rinse, repeat.

  73. daknight93 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:46 PM

    Rob deserves to be suspended…he must be accountable for making offensive comments, justified suspension!

  74. dblegend says: Dec 14, 2012 12:50 PM

    As a black man, it hate when black people say stupid things like this because it makes all of us look ignorant. I also hate when some black people always have to judge another black person’s “blackness”. First off, who are you to judge anybody, secondly, who’s says your “blackness” scale is right, and thirdly, regardless of your “blackness” scale, at the end of the day, the person is still black no matter what you think! This is what happens when you put ignorant people on tv, you hear ignorant things!!!

  75. buddysguys says: Dec 14, 2012 12:50 PM

    tell Jay Mariotti we say hi chump!!!

  76. tincansailor981 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:50 PM

    It’s been a tough couple of weeks for ESPN announcers. First the two D.C. idiots get suspended for their dumb comments about a transgender basketball player, then this idiot opens his mouth. ESPN is a joke.

  77. drew1969 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:51 PM

    He shouldnt worry;hes suspended,but not really.

  78. defscottyb says: Dec 14, 2012 12:51 PM

    sad not sas…

  79. rgwhodey says: Dec 14, 2012 12:52 PM

    1 of many reason why I don’t watch ESPN..

  80. smcgaels1997 says: Dec 14, 2012 12:53 PM

    It’s bad enough to make those comments..but to then say your critics are “uneducated” and “silly” proves what he’s about. Way to take responsibility for your lack of education or common sense

  81. rj2323 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:00 PM

    Who wants to dance?

  82. purplekoolaid1 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:00 PM

    ESPN has been a joke for many years now. This isn’t at all surprising.

  83. macwomack says: Dec 14, 2012 1:02 PM

    As the white husband of a wife (who is black) I find these comments especailly disturbing. After all Rob Parker seems to believe that my wife’s “blackness” is somehow in question.

    I am asking my self how many time ESPN will insult me….

    1. Rob Parker’s racist statements about RG3.
    2. Skip Bayless throwing gasoline on the fire (i.e. “RG3 has braids”)
    3. Replaying the comments
    4. Failure to condemn the comments (until public backlash)
    5. Failure to immendiately fire Parker (Bayless should also be fired)

    ESPN’s evaluation is a joke – as a point of comparision how long did it take them to fire that blow hard Limbaugh?

    Last take – I hope every athlete (who is black) with a white spouse calls into ESPN immediately – no interviews, no comments, no attention whatso ever until Parker is drummed out of the business.

  84. SeenThisB4 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:05 PM

    If Rob Parker were white, would he have been fired instead of suspended?

  85. thelastpieceofcheese says: Dec 14, 2012 1:12 PM

    RG3 an uncle?

  86. duncanthecat says: Dec 14, 2012 1:15 PM

    RGIII and his fiance will ultimately be judged by the content of their character and rightfully so, like the rest of us.

    As for their political affiliations, who cares, our life experiences cause each of us to view politics through these life experiences and each has a right to these views irregardless of where they ly.

    I would very much welcome RGIII and family as a neighbor not because of his race, but because of their character.

    As for Parker, his persona sure reflects poorly on other degreed individuals from Columbia University.

  87. fwippel says: Dec 14, 2012 1:15 PM

    A suspension for those comments? If ESPN can fire Rush Limbaugh for his comments about the media’s coverage of Donovan McNabb (and the media’s desire to see a black QB succeed), how can they possibly justify only a suspension for Parker?

    These are blatantly racist comments made about a young man who is too busy working at his job to be concerned about his own skin pigmentation, and what that skin pigmentation means to other people. What business is it of Rob Parker’s how RGIII lives his life? Is Parker jealous of his success?

    I hope RGIII continues to handle everything thrown at him with the class he has demonstrated to this point. But ESPN needs to man up and fire Parker for his racist comments.

  88. rexryansdirtysock says: Dec 14, 2012 1:18 PM

    Hopefully, this marks the start towards the double standard of racism on ESPN stopping.

    Jamele Hill is another who’s been racist as well, but ESPN has turned it’s back to.

    I don’t care if you’re black, white, purple or darn gold – the ignorance and hatred displayed by Parker on a CONSISTENT and MAINTAINED basis is offensive. And I’d like to see him not only suspended, but fired.

  89. mazblast says: Dec 14, 2012 1:25 PM

    green41563 says:

    It’s a sad and dangerous state of affairs when a man who’s paid to give opinions is fired or suspended from work because the powers that be decide that they don’t like the opinion he gave.

    The freedom of speech is an idea that obviously predated the Bill of Rights and thus, at least philosophically, expands far beyond the relatively slim legal protection found to be afforded by the First Amendment in respect of state action.

    The general thrust of freedom of speech as an idea—as distinct from the First Amendment—is that a human being has a right to his opinion no matter that some people find it bigoted, racist, ignorant, or what have you. Private company or not, punishing people for venturing unpopular opinions creates a very perilous climate.
    —————————————-
    He has every right to say whatever he is thinking, no matter how stupid, bigoted, outdated, and just plain wrong we think it is. And ESPN has the right to deny him its cable access as a means of disseminating his slimy, racist opinions.

    He can say whatever he wants–from whatever soapbox he can find. No one is censoring him; they are merely saying, “you can say what you want when you’re on your own time, but while you’re working for us, while our name is on the program, you play by our rules”.

    Should ESPN see fit to reinstate this bigot–and I interpret “until further notice” as meaning “we’re negotiating a way to terminate his contract without his suing us”–they are within their rights. We, as viewers, can then express our outrage in the appropriate manner, by withholding our viewership. In addition, I doubt that I’m the only DIS stockholder who plans to make his feelings known should this loser ever appear on the network again.

  90. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Dec 14, 2012 1:26 PM

    “He initially defended his comments and called his critics “uneducated” and “silly” for questioning him.”

    ———————————————————–

    Funny, “uneducated and silly” were the exact reactions I had to Parker’s ignorant, racist comments. Not only should he be fired, not suspended, so should the show’s producers.

  91. thefiesty1 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:26 PM

    Why is it that when a black reporter (Parker) only suspended for making racist remarks? If it had been a caucasian that made the same remarks he would have been fired immediately. Double standard. Change suspension to terminated.

  92. cschick2317 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:28 PM

    “The general thrust of freedom of speech as an idea—as distinct from the First Amendment—is that a human being has a right to his opinion no matter that some people find it bigoted, racist, ignorant, or what have you. Private company or not, punishing people for venturing unpopular opinions creates a very perilous climate.”

    —————————————-

    No, it doesn’t create a perilous climate. A company has the right to fire any employee who’s statements/acts alienate the company’s consumers. It’s one thing to hire someone to toss around controversial opinions regarding sports. It’s another to have that person offer up a disgusting comment about someone’s race.

    Rob is by all means allowed to have his opinion and everyone else is allowed to hate his opinion and ESPN is allowed to fire him because they could lose viewers because of his opinion.

  93. sixjak says: Dec 14, 2012 1:36 PM

    Good to see somebody at ESPN has a conscience.

  94. 10kmp says: Dec 14, 2012 1:50 PM

    I watch ESPN ONLY when they are broadcasting a game. I now never watch “shows” like First Take, or Around the Horn. Even college GameDay has been ruined for me due to this networks preference for shock value over factual information. On air “personalities” like Parker, Bayless, Stephen A. Smith, Woody Paige, Mark May, et al, are unwatchable. The ESPN administration seems to have abandoned the “sports” part of their acronym for the “entertainment” part specific to all content other than live game broadcasts…

  95. uwsptke says: Dec 14, 2012 1:52 PM

    Who watches ESPN anymore anyways? They lost me years ago. If they lost the MNF package, there would be zero reason for me to tune them in. I can watch my baseball team on FSN, my college football team on BIG10 network, and get actual football & baseball analysis on NFL & MLB Networks.

  96. omegalh says: Dec 14, 2012 1:53 PM

    Say hello to Salisbury for us.

  97. manningbowl88 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:53 PM

    damn u know rg3 is making waves when fans from every team most of them being white are defending rg3s ‘blackness’.. i cant help it i just like the guy RG3 is likeable and i hate that i like him, but im sure ill hate him in a few years like a normal person…

    -nyg fan

  98. mute617 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:55 PM

    Why people still watch shows on ESPN baffles me. Excluding games that are only on ESPN, like MNF, I haven’t watched ESPN all year

  99. powercorrupts2 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:55 PM

    Since the Human Genome Project was completed over a decade ago, modern genetics has shown that race is a myth. Please see: themythofrace.com by Dr. T. Spelsberg (a Mayo Clinic Professor), The Journey of Man by Dr. Spencer Wells (a Stanford and then Columbia University Professor), The Seven Daughters of Eve by Dr. Bryan Sykes (an Oxford University Professor), The Human Family Tree a National Geographic video on the Genographic Project, etc.. Then welcome yourself to the 21st century.

  100. sportsnut101 says: Dec 14, 2012 1:56 PM

    i like rob parker but what an idiot for saying that sorry to say he should be fired espn has fired others who made comments like that so why not him
    also who ever is in charge of topic questions also should be fired they have the stupid questions sumtimes i use to watch all the time on dvr but it got annoying when same topic was on monday showed up on friday like thats all u got

  101. mrcogburn says: Dec 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    ESPN doesn’t have a conscience. They have advertisers, and they know these things can make sponsors walk.

  102. trollhammer20 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    So he’s “employed”, but not really….

  103. briggsweatbird says: Dec 14, 2012 2:04 PM

    Wondering: will the exec who decided to replay Parker’s comments in the “Best of” show also be suspended for his/her poor judgment?

    If not, why not?

  104. seanb20124 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:07 PM

    Can him espn like you did Limbaugh

  105. lovetbrady says: Dec 14, 2012 2:15 PM

    I sent espn an email just last week saying that Rob Thomas was racist.Maybe they should listen to their viewers.My email to them was about his comments about how Kevin Durant models his game after Larry Bird.God, what a racist.God bless the children of Sandy Hook elemantry school.

  106. lovetbrady says: Dec 14, 2012 2:16 PM

    Sorry I meant Parker.

  107. painsyndicate says: Dec 14, 2012 2:16 PM

    Who are the 20+ scumbags that keep giving “thumbs down” votes to the negative Rob Parker posts? The guy is a racist and should not only be fired but blacklisted from what we now allow as “journalism”.

  108. FeedtheOldtotheYoung says: Dec 14, 2012 2:18 PM

    Please take Skip Bayless with you…

  109. datsanono says: Dec 14, 2012 2:20 PM

    Suspended…THAT’S IT! ESPN is showing that they are racially insensitive. Who cares what color Rob Parker is…FIRE HIS SORRY REAR END! What he said is as racist as it gets!

  110. cardiffgiant11 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:21 PM

    I think we can all agree Rob Parker is an idiot at the best, a racist at worst and that RG3 is at least a good athlete and genuinely good guy and at best one of the best athletes we’ve seen in years and a great human being.

  111. giantssb42champs says: Dec 14, 2012 2:22 PM

    I never even heard if this racist until this story came out. Hopefully he’ll be back in obscurity soon.

  112. mickbong says: Dec 14, 2012 2:23 PM

    NO WAY….NO HOW…Rob Parker should ever be on ESPN again…hahaha

  113. matzahballz says: Dec 14, 2012 2:24 PM

    I can’t believe I am saying this but for the first time EVER, I like what Stephen A. said. “I can’t stand that Rob Parker!”

  114. ahonui06 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:31 PM

    Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Don’t see anything wrong with Rob Parker’s opinion. He can say whatever he wants and it won’t bother me.

  115. mungman69 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:32 PM

    You can understand what RG3 is saying when he says it. Parker is a racist.

  116. eljefe322 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:33 PM

    What was the point of Rob Parker’s statement? RG III has to pass a test to be acceptable? He must be “down with the cause” – via the definition that Rob Parker decides – in order to…what? Be a role model? Be an athlete black people can support? Parker’s objections to RG III seemed to be (a) he has a white finacee and (b) he might be a Republican. The latter statement he said as though he might be a crimnal (held his hands up and “well, there’s NO information on that…” as though if RG III were Republican he’d be guilty of a crime). Rob Parker is an embarrassment. Worst kind of racist – one who says that there are only certain kinds of black people who are acceptable, and if they don’t fit Rob Parker’s profile of acceptability, they get to be denigrated. Embarrassing.

  117. delsol1872 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:43 PM

    When “keeping it real” goes wrong

  118. soulperformer10 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:43 PM

    How did even get this gig with ESPN in the first place? He lost his gig in Detroit for crossing the line multiple times. I always thought it was odd that he gets fired, then ESPN hires him. It was like he was being rewarded for being an idiot.
    Go ahead and fade into oblivion.

  119. macneil4025 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:46 PM

    If ESPN doesn’t Fire Rob Parker, they become the joke!! Fire this racist Clown!!

  120. fldmar says: Dec 14, 2012 2:51 PM

    Doesn’t anyone remember the Rick Reilly comments against Morneau being added to the 2008 home run contest and that they should have more diversity.

    Racist rants on ESPN are not new. They try to stir things up. I for one demand better and don’t watch this crap anymore because of the fake battles and stupid back/forth banters. Clean house and start firing all of these racist and overall stupid hosts.

    Rick Reilly, Rob Parker, Skip Bayless

  121. warhammer420 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:52 PM

    I haven’t watched First Take in a long time. I’m not amused by Skip Bayless stirring up fake drama. And Rob Parker comes off as a racist.

  122. rajbais says: Dec 14, 2012 2:57 PM

    Somewhere in Chicago Rod Marinelli is laughing.

  123. tom69876 says: Dec 14, 2012 2:57 PM

    Uhhhm, didn’t Floyd Mayweather make racial comments about Jeremy Linn last year? By all means, I am not defending, or would never support racism. But from what I remember, Floyd was let off the hook. Infact all of us rewarded him by paying for his fight. I don’t know this guys motive, but at least find out if he is a racist before assuming. Why hate one, when you support another?

  124. peytonsneck18 says: Dec 14, 2012 3:15 PM

    Rg3 makes Wayne Brady look like Malcolm X

  125. jbaxt says: Dec 14, 2012 3:25 PM

    Does ESPN have a Rooney rule?

  126. baloneyjohn says: Dec 14, 2012 3:32 PM

    ESPN, is even moire irrelevant.

  127. steelerben says: Dec 14, 2012 3:36 PM

    For everyone saying, “if he was white he would have been fired,” you are making a generalization based upon race. Just sayin.

    The reason he is being suspended instead of being fired might just be that his take was known and encouraged by ESPN in the first place. The producers knew beforehand how this was going to go. It was the intention.

    Was what Rob Parker said stupid? Absolutely. Was it racist? Without a doubt. Is it counter productive to the “cause” of advancing a race beyond second class citizen status to insist that they perpetuate stereotypes in order to be accepted by that community? Simply moronic. Is ESPN concerned about that or are they concerned with the press they are getting for it:

    1. Being aired.
    2. Being aired *again* in a best of.
    3. The delayed and lily livered denouncement of this idiots opinion.
    4. The twitterverse response of said idiot.
    5. The delay in any disciplinary action.
    6. The lack of teeth of the disciplinary action.
    7. (Coming Soon!) The backlash towards the insincerity of the apology for it all.

    There is no such thing as bad press.

  128. briang123 says: Dec 14, 2012 3:44 PM

    This was all about RG3 being a Republican. Guys like Parker can’t stand that. The rest of the stuff is just filler.

  129. gregmorris78 says: Dec 14, 2012 3:46 PM

    I just think it was a stupid, archaic and awfully shallow topic for today’s age. Rob Parker belongs to the 20th century. My interest in the ESPN brand is instantly diluted

  130. FinFan68 says: Dec 14, 2012 4:15 PM

    People remember Rush Limbaugh’s comments as racist but they were not really about McNabb. They were about the media and their desire to prop up a black QB. That was enough for some to scream racism and Limbaugh was fired. Parker’s comments were blatantly racist and were likely even encouraged by the production staff at ESPN. Not only should Parker lose his job, but all the decision makers that decided to air and then re-air those comments should lose their jobs as well. I’m not usually one who demands somebody be fired for stupid comments but IMHO this particular episode warrants it. This was not some off-the-cuff comment or a poor choice of words. It was a contrived opinion that was the basis for an entire segment on that show for the purpose of starting controversy and garnering attention/ratings.

    Most of us that watch sporting events or ESPN, NFLN or NBCSN or scroll through sites like PFT do so for sports news and information, not for political speeches about race, gun control pro/anti-union debates or anything else. Stick to sports.

  131. mdpgc says: Dec 14, 2012 4:15 PM

    tom69876,

    Floyd’s comments about Jeremy Lin were somewhat true. Black athletes in the NBA, had been what Lin did, it was just routine. Lin came into the NBA and he’s the best thing since sliced bread. The same big deal was made about Yao Ming when he first got in the NBA and now that Lin is on the Rockets (signing a large contract), I hear more about James Harden as I do Lin.

  132. queensnyvegas says: Dec 14, 2012 4:20 PM

    what NO WAY NO HOW

  133. huskersrock1 says: Dec 14, 2012 4:24 PM

    I have not watched an non-sporting event on ESPN in years. It is like MTV, just unwatchable.

  134. wisconsinhillfolk says: Dec 14, 2012 4:29 PM

    macwomack,

    Excellent post!

    Also, I can’t remember who posted it, but the comment regarding mapping of the human genome is the most significant comment on this subject. Well done!

  135. kingpel says: Dec 14, 2012 4:52 PM

    I have NFL Network now so I really have no need for ESPN programming. Gone are the days of ESPN holding me hostage by playing football highlights around their boring baseball, basketball and X game promotional bits.

    Keep this racist on your payroll. I’ll just go elsewhere.

  136. indywilson40 says: Dec 14, 2012 4:54 PM

    When is the debate about who is better, Luck or RG3 gonna break out on this message board?

  137. bobnelsonjr says: Dec 14, 2012 5:07 PM

    Some still remember when ESPN broadcast sports. Sumo wrestling, Cricket, Curling, Rugby, etc, there was always a game on.

    Once Disney bought it, it became a talk show network. Their programming is just like all the other female talk shows on daytime television.

    You are all uneducated, silly, and unmanly for watching it. Stop watching and perhaps they bring back Aussie football, snooker, hockey, and cross country skiing coverage.

    I miss being able to watch a game 24 hours a day.

  138. 11inthebox says: Dec 14, 2012 5:09 PM

    I agree with pretty much everything people are saying here.

    But… the difference between Limbaugh and Parker is that Limbaugh was known to make really incendiary comments about race, that led to big ratings among conservative viewers. THAT’S why Espn brought him in.

    After he was “fired” for doing exactly what they asked him to do, Limbaugh went back to his very popular and successful radio show.

    Did anyone REALLY think Rush Limbaugh was going to be a long term contributor to Espn Gameday? Really?

    After all was said and done Limbaugh is still very rich and famous.

    After Parker eventually gets fired, we won’t be able to say that about him.

  139. catfanatic1979v1 says: Dec 14, 2012 5:28 PM

    What? You can’t instantly fire someone becuase they are racist anymore? This doesn’t need further review. This was blatant bigoted attempt to harm RG3 publicly. His political and religious beliefs should not be under fire nor should his ethnicity. Parker was far more inflammatory than Limbaugh ever thought of being.

  140. doe22us says: Dec 14, 2012 6:03 PM

    The strange thing today while watching ESPN First Take this morning (my apologize) was i havent seen Rob Parker on the show in quite some time? I had no idea that he had made such insensitive racial comments the day before. First off Rob Parker is one of the most ignorant reporters on that show, the show and ESPN to a large degree has become unwatchable as the years have gone by. First take i admit i watch on occasion, has become so unbearable its like a debate of who screams the loudest. That station is definitely going down the tubes because their shows are so unwatchable lately.

  141. joeyb3878 says: Dec 14, 2012 6:55 PM

    My advice to Rob Parker on waiting upon “further notice” concerning his suspension……… Don’t hold your breath.

  142. 6250claimer says: Dec 14, 2012 8:20 PM

    He’d be a perfect sidekick to Al Sharpton on his MSNBC show.

  143. Sal Esposito says: Dec 14, 2012 8:26 PM

    RGIII is the real deal. He is a smart kid who has amazing talent. I really felt good that all the noise about “black” QB’s was finally being extinguished and that this kid was responsible for that. Everyone should be celebrating his talent and soft spoken intelligence and maybe, just maybe some of it might rub off on them.

  144. golfdude65 says: Dec 14, 2012 9:02 PM

    Lets call it like it is. if Rob Parker was a white analyst and made these comments his sorry ass would have already been fired…..

  145. rgarritt says: Dec 14, 2012 9:23 PM

    Parker may adhere to the philosophy that “any publicity is good publicity.” Pundits say things that are nonsensical and provocative all the time. Nappy headed ho!

  146. notsosmartski says: Dec 15, 2012 3:31 AM

    To begin with, the entire show is a stretch. There is little value into listening to a couple grown men discuss/argue over sports topics for any length of time greater than two minutes. I rate the show the most boringest on ESPN or cable tv for that matter.

  147. patsfan13 says: Dec 15, 2012 8:06 AM

    Maybe Parker would like it better if RG111 ignored his upbringing and education and spoke like a ghetto gang banger. RG111 has more class in his pinkie toe than Parker has in his entirety.

    The producers of the show should be disciplined also for rerunning the show. Maybe they don’t censor the original show (they should), but never should have allowed it to be re-aired.

  148. sailbum7 says: Dec 15, 2012 8:14 AM

    While Parker deserved to be taken off the air, the producers of the program need to be removed as well. They intentionally fostered and environment in which these types of controversial comments were not only accepted, but were sought out and encouraged. For ESPN to suspend Parker and do nothing to those who are responsible for the show’s content is extremely hypocritical. Parker was doing what the producers expected of him, generating controversy, and they bear as much responsibility for this incident as Parker does.

  149. lgs2012 says: Dec 15, 2012 12:20 PM

    We have to put up with this RACIST daily in the Detroit area. He says all of his racist rants with a big smile on his face. He sees everything with an African-American (A-A) slant. If A-A’s don’t receive 100% of the pie, then you or your organization ARE RACISTS, simple as that. His comments about RGIII were disgusting. Here’s ACTUALLY someone in the pro’s that A-A youth’s definitely need to look up to. FIRE PARKER NOW!!!

  150. nadinesh says: Dec 15, 2012 12:21 PM

    Wow, I don’t believe all the racism from these commentators. Did they all secretly hate this guy because he was black and doing so much better than they are? Or because he was an educated black man? Some of these remarks s tink so bad I had to open the window. Frankly (as a white person) I thought the whole thing was totally exaggerated. His remarks weren’t in the least racist, even if they seem narrow. RGIII should be allowed to be whatever he is, of course, and not fit into some mold, but what the guy said was just his opinion and hardly racism. All a bunch of nonsense.

  151. mojo7804 says: Dec 15, 2012 12:23 PM

    The comments were not racists, but silly…I find it interesting though that Parker is suspended immediately for his insensitive comments, but Mike Greenburg refers to Martin Luther King as Martin Luther Coon a couple years ago, and the network glazes over it with a brief apology, and act like it never happened. Parker is just expendible…or better yet RGIII’s sponsors didn’t appreciate the statement.

  152. nadinesh says: Dec 15, 2012 12:29 PM

    AMAZED you don’t see the difference between what Limbaugh said (extremely racist) and what Parker said (innocuous.) Limbaugh said a very talented black QB only got his job because some vague shadowy media conglomeration declared there had to be a black QB. So that implies that otherwise the guy would never be a QB, because Blacks are inherently not QB material. THAT is highly, stinkingly racist. Just what you’d expect from a hypocritical junkie pig like Limbaugh, though. What Parker said was that RGIII wasn’t Black enough for him; that he was trying to be too “white.” Yeah, so? What racial group does THAT slur? No one but RGIII, if he cares. I don’t give a flying f if they suspend Parker — hardly a great analyst — but racist? Nonsense. The only people screaming “racist” are those people who are guilty about not being as victimized as other people. Gimme a break.

  153. defscottyb says: Dec 15, 2012 12:47 PM

    Finally, something has been done about the double-standard. People getting “passes” because they allowed to speak on that sort of topic ala chris rock or cat williams because they “can”. Say stupid things and you will face consequences… period.

  154. burgandy2260 says: Dec 15, 2012 2:52 PM

    Somewhere I’m sure there are media hungry, unemployed pastors or reverends packing their suitcases and preparing their speeches on how this man is being HELD DOWN again!

  155. fsf7 says: Dec 15, 2012 7:49 PM

    mgflolox says: Dec 14, 2012 12:17 PM

    I’ll say this much, while his comments were obviously out of line and inappropriate, he does have a legitimate beef the bosses at ESPN. After all, they encourage their commentators to spew this kind of over-the-top nonsense.
    ————————————–
    No. They can spew ignorance and opinion, but this is racism pure and simple.

    Unemployment, meet Parker – there is no other answer. This is the way that it is, dating back to Jimmy the Greek. If you are too stupid to know this, you don’t deserve to have that gig.

  156. georgiavol91 says: Dec 16, 2012 2:56 PM

    Why does ESPN insist on always talking about race? I wonder if their marketing people say this is a “hot topic” so they should talk about it. Well, it’s hot becaus these morons keep talking about it. And it’s not just First Take, even Mike & Mike frequently down this road when they run out of stuff to talk about, almost like it’s their fall-back material when nothing else is working. Hey, ESPN,

  157. potviking says: Dec 16, 2012 10:07 PM

    I think we’ve all seen Rob Parker’s last take.

  158. NoDecaf says: Dec 17, 2012 8:56 AM

    Does Rob figure Columbia is the Compton of the Ivy League or something?

  159. coronakid76 says: Dec 18, 2012 6:54 PM

    ICE-T said it best:

    Freedom of Speech! Just watch what you say!!!!!

  160. moondog7 says: Dec 19, 2012 5:04 PM

    These shows use to be entertaining 3-5 years ago when I didn’t relize they were scripted. Its like a reality show thats not real. ESPN had guys like Mariotti Page Kornhiesr and Wilbon who seemed to be like rivals and have chemistry and made for an entertaining show. Now they are trying to do that with every show on the network and people can see right through it. Its all fake and scripted and just terrible to watch. If I want to watch any sports show I want it to be real. Even Mike and Mike is getting way to commercialzed. I try to turn it on in the morning drive and 7 times out of 10 its on commerical. ESPN has gotten lost in money and fake shows trying to stir the pot almost like MTV. Show sports and music thats what your started as. The best show out right now is the Dan Patrick Show but even that got bought by NBC so who knows what will happen with that now.

  161. draconian1111 says: Dec 19, 2012 5:55 PM

    Suspended – Parker is black. If he were white and made the same comment, he would have already been on the bricks.
    Him and Stephen A Smith – what a pair – all about race, especially Stephen A. Seems whatever the topic, he’ll bring race into it. And – whatever media he is on – when it’s time for him to come on – I turn it off or change the channel.
    If you want to be edgy on sports radio or tv – keep the edge – but make it about SPORT – not RACE.
    Realized what he said was stupid after – 6 days? Pretty bright one, Mr. Parker.

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