ESPN has officially ended their relationship with Rob Parker, according to Mike Soltys.
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
While it looked like Parker would survive the initial outrage following his comments about Robert Griffin III, an interview that Parker gave to WDIV's Flashpoint didn't help his cause at all, though John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal says that the decision to not renew Parker's contract came before the interview was released.
The last month-plus of Parker's career was one of the most precipitous drops we've seen in a while. At the end of November, ESPN announced that Parker would be hosting the brand new First Take Saturday edition along with Cari Champion. Then not even three weeks later, Parker made his comments about Griffin, and his star at ESPN dimmed instantly, finally being extinguished today.
A very small part of me actually feels a little bad for Parker. While his comments about Griffin were uncalled for, he was simply trying to play into the "embrace debate" culture that ESPN has been promoting in recent months. But everything after those comments was all on Parker, continually throwing dirt onto his own grave for weeks before the process was completed today. If Parker had said what he said about Griffin maybe three months earlier, he still might have a job at ESPN. Instead, everything happening at the end of the year was with his contract up for renewal. Given the extreme negative backlash towards Parker, his comments, and his actions since his comments, the decision to not renew his deal for 2013 was probably an easy one for ESPN at the end of the day.