The hammer dropped on ESPN's Rob Parker Friday morning. ESPN announced this morning the pundit/debater/instigator was "suspended until further notice" for his incendiary comments about Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III on Thursday's edition First Take.
Update: "Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review."
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) December 14, 2012
The question will now become whether or not Parker will be able to keep his job at ESPN. This is far from his first embarrassing controversy, but the nationwide attention his comments about RGIII gained was unprecedented. The continued backlash and outrage against Parker may make it difficult for ESPN to bring him back under any circumstances. His reckless questioning of RGIII's authenticity, race, fiance and political beliefs have no place anywhere in decent public discourse.
ESPN has taken swift and appropriate action in quickly moving to suspend him. The question moving forward will be whether or not the network learns from this latest controversy produced by its morning debate show. (And of course, what happens to Weekend First Take starring Rob Parker!) This also is not the first time First Take has been under heavy criticism for their discussion on issues of race, but it is certainly the most widespread that criticism has reached. After all, even The Iron Sheik is taking notice…
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) December 14, 2012
Is this the wake up moment for ESPN's debate style programming, and First Take in particular, that feeds upon stereotypes, ginned-up controversy, name-calling, and mudslinging?
Let's hope so.
Here's the comments that started it all again if you missed it…