ESPN talking head Rob Parker was fired Tuesday, after an incident last month in which he questioned the “blackness” of Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. Parker had been on suspension since then, but Parker’s firing came two days after he gave an interview on television in which he seemed to double down on his claims.
The comment that got Rob Parker fired came on December 13th, during an episode of ESPN’s show “First Take.” Parker called the popular RGIII a “cornball brother” and questioned Griffin’s commitment to the African-American community based on the fact that Griffin is a Republican and has a white fiance. ESPN suspended Parker after public outcry, but the real action that got Rob Parker fired came this weekend. Parker went on television in Detroit and said he was “shocked” by the backlash, and that he still had “concerns” for Griffin.
Parker said he didn’t mean to “condemn the young man. RGIII is a great young man with a bright future. It was more about concerns, not condemning him.”
While Parker was already in trouble with his employer, it was the fact that he seemed unwilling to apologize or walk away from his comments that got Rob Parker fired.
ESPN said in a statement that “Rob Parker’s contract expired at year end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew.”