ESPN cut ties with Rob Parker

Rob Parker - RGIII

Rob Parker, after making controversial comments on race in relation to Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, is no longer with ESPN.

Parker, who is African American, made those comments on the morning talk show First Take, about RGIII, who is also African American, possibly being a “cornball brother” who is ” not really down with the cause.”

Says ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys, in a statement:

“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end. Evaluating his work and our needs, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew his deal.”

ESPN had no further comment.

It’s unclear whether that decision was made before or after Parker defended himself during an appearance on Detroit’s NBC affiliate on Sunday. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand is reporting that the decision was made before the show aired. Michael Davis Smith of ProFootballTalk tweeted that Parker was surprised by the news this morning.

Rob Parker - ESPNParker, who had already been suspended for 30 days, suggests in an interview with a Detroit TV station that in an ESPN First Take production meeting his basic points about Griffin were understood to be the “way they were going” on the show and his comments weren’t just “off-the-cuff.”

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