Exactly one week after Rob Parker openly uttered on “First Take” that he suspected Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III might be “a cornball brother” and is “not really down with the cause,” while at the same time, Griffin actually is a “brother” because he dons braids, ESPN formally announced the personality’s suspension.
You may recall that, within 24 hours, the Worldwide Leader had confirmed Parker was suspended “indefinitely”. That “indefinitely” has now been redefined to a thirty-day suspension.
It’s very likely that the month-long suspension is retroactive to December 14, the day he was initially banished temporarily from ESPN’s air. Otherwise, if it’s effective today (December 20), that means that Parker will be eligible to return to “First Take” on Monday, January 21 – or Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The network’s imposing of a thirty-day suspension of Parker comes just one day after he issued an apology through his Twitter account. (And no, all of those tweets and retweets supporting his “cornball brother” perspective have not been taken down.)
That’s two month-long suspensions the Worldwide Leader has doled out this year alone. Back in February, ESPN anchor Max Bretos was suspended for a month for using the term “chink in the armor” during a discussion about Jeremy Lin, then with the New York Knicks, during a segment on ESPNews.
And even though Bretos still remains employed by ESPN (which I don’t have a problem with, by the way), when ESPN says that they’ve “decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days”, do not think that the only thing that could happen is Parker serving his suspension and then returning in mid-January and things are hunky dory once again.
Because there still lies the possibility that ESPN ultimately give Parker a permanent vacation in a month from now. As Parker tweeted out his half-assed apology, sources believed that there was a 3 in 4 chance that Parker would be sent packing by the Worldwide Leader for his divisive comments about RGIII.
Remember, ESPN is still conducting a review, and might come across something that hasn’t reared its ugly head yet.
Or worse: The Washington Redskins might advance to the NFC Championship Game.
A number of things could happen that could lead ESPN to fire Parker upon serving out his suspension.
Let’s not forget, it’s possible to be terminated either during or following a suspension.
Ten years ago, radio shock jocks Opie and Anthony had seen their show go into reruns about a week after a “Sex For Sam” contest, which encouraged two listeners to fornicate in a pew inside the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, before CBS Radio finally cancelled the show. Neither Opie nor Anthony issued an apology; then again, this is what they do (and it is admittedly entertaining, usually).
Five years ago, Don Imus, who did issue an apology after receiving backlash for his “nappy headed ho’s” comment was given a two-week suspension by CBS; once sponsors started dropping like flies, CBS changed their tune and pulled the plug on “Imus In The Morning” within three days.
And just a couple of months ago, Columbus sports radio host Scott “The Torg” Torgerson was suspended by Dispatch Media Group/WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” after tweeting his desire for an ESPN employee, Desmond Howard, to “die or get fired” so that “College GameDay” can be viewable to him. After one week, “The Fan” fired “The Torg.”
So let’s not rule out the possibility of Rob Parker being fired for his attack on Robert Griffin III. It could still happen.
And just in time for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
As Dr. King himself once said: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals.”
Translated: The passionate concerns of many individuals (bloggers and viewers, but mostly, bloggers) led to tireless exertions (ESPN’s “review”) and a subsequent effort for human progress (with “human” in this case being “First Take”). Yet, if ESPN sees itself struggling after suffering from a loss of advertising revenue, the obvious sacrifice would be to terminate Rob Parker.
And that would be justice for all.
(Irony: If you attempt to watch one version of Parker’s RGIII comments on YouTube, you will see the following message: “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams and commercially deceptive content.” Ain’t that the truth: “First Take” might be the biggest scam going.)