ESPN suspends Rob Parker for RGIII comments

Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins scrambles

Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins scrambles with the ball in the second half. (Dec. 3, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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ESPN announced Thursday that Rob Parker, a commentator on the debate-oriented "First Take," will be suspended for 30 days in the wake of racially charged comments he made last week during a discussion about Robert Griffin III.

Parker, a former Newsday columnist who like Griffin is black, questioned the Redskins quarterback's approach to his racial identity, calling him a "cornball brother."

Marcia Keegan, an ESPN vice president who oversees "First Take," said in a statement posted on ESPN's website, "Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part. To address this we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on 'First Take,' including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on 'First Take.' However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better."

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