ESPN analyst Rob Parker made some controversial statements about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) last week in a rare conversation on the show First Take that did not center around the New York Jets or Tim Tebow.
Here’s a clip of Parker’s comments:
ESPN suspended Parker, and has reportedly been mulling over whether or not it should fire him.
Nearly a week later, Parker has now tweeted out an apology:
I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive (cont) http://t.co/vWG6OZwM
I blew it and I’m sincerely sorry. 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.
As ESPN weighs the potential outcomes of its decision, the apology, albeit pretty late, shouldn’t do much to hurt his chances of remaining with the network.
This isn’t the first time the First Take crew has taken some heat over racially-tinged comments in recent memory.