Days after ESPN suspended him, First Take commentator Rob Parker is attempting to rebuild his image.
“I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry,” Parker wrote. “I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert’s thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community. The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN’s reaction. Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught – with dignity, respect and pride. I’ve contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner.”
There’s been no indication as to the length of Parker’s suspension. ESPN only confirmed it was for an indefinite period while they look into his now-infamous segment. In the meantime, Parker, a Detroit columnist, has fulfilled other obligations, covering the Lions-Cardinals game last Sunday.
Though his comments were completely outlandish and unprofessional, an apology is SOP in these instances. Parker will attempt to work his way back into the public’s good graces, but it hardly guarantees ESPN puts him back on their programming.