Rob Parker Fired By ESPN
Rob Parker is no longer with ESPN.
The sports network announced today that it was not renewing Parker’s contract which expired at the end of 2012. Parker was suspended in mid December after his controversial and racially charged comments on ESPN First Take about Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III. The suspension was supposed to last 30 days.
A statement by ESPN read as follows:
“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RG III comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”
Parker reportedly was slated to become a regular panelist on the weekend version of First Take, but he apparently didn’t do himself any favors by giving an interview with WDIV-TV in Detroit on Sunday according to the New York Daily News:
“Industry sources said ESPN execs were angered after Parker recently went on a Detroit TV station and attempted to rationalize his RGIII comments. During the TV interview, he said the producers of First Take knew, roughly, the direction he would take with his RGIII commentary before he went on the air.”
In the Detroit interview, Parker claimed his comments were taken out of context: “It was never to condemn the young man. RGIII is a great young man with a bright future. It was more about concerns not condemning.”
But Parker added that there is a perception that some athletes, such as O.J. Simpson, “push away from their people.”
Rob Parker’s contract expired at year end.Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew.
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) January 8, 2013
I’m told Rob Parker was under the impression he was returning to ESPN next week, until they told him this morning that he was fired.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 8, 2013