Rob Parker has been suspended for 30 days, ESPN announced Thursday. Last Friday, the network suspended Parker “until further notice” after he suggested on ESPN 2‘s First Take that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III may be a “cornball brother.”
Parker’s comments, which I described then as “irresponsible,” led to backlash from several media outlets, sports blogs and DC-area publications.
After conducting a “full review,” ESPN decided 30 days was the appropriate length for suspension.
Josh Krulewitz of ESPN‘s communications department tweeted the announcement of Parker’s suspension:
First Take Update. Rob Parker suspended 30 days. Others also disciplined. ESPN exec. talks learnings/next steps: http://t.co/Nb9rzSjo
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) December 20, 2012
The full statement describing Parker’s suspension and additional disciplinary actions ESPN has taken comes from Marcia Keegan, the network’s vice-president of production. First Take falls under Keegan’s responsibilities.
“To address this we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures,” Keegan writes.
The network says it is not moving away from its ’embrace debate’ format.
Below is Keegan’s statement in full:
“ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode of First Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
“To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on First Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.”
Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj