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ESPN fires Rob Parker

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  January 8, 2013 03:18 PM

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Rob Parker, who was suspended by ESPN last month after referring to Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III as a "cornball brother'' and questioning his "blackness,'' has been fired by ESPN.

"Rob Parker's contract expired at year's end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RG III comments, we decided not to renew his deal," ESPN said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Parker, who like Griffin is African-American, made the comments on the debate program "First Take" on Dec. 13. He was suspended indefinitely the next day, then ESPN announced the ban would last 30 days.

The 30-day suspension was retroactive, and Parker was expected back on ESPN in the next few days.

Given Tuesday's turn of events, it's natural to wonder whether his comments during an interview on Detroit television Sunday cost him that chance.

Parker said on the program "Flashpoint" that he was surprised at the backlash and suggested ESPN producers knew what he was going to say about Griffin.

“We had a discussion, a pre-production meeting," Parker said. "Not every single word, but they knew which way we were going and it’s just not off the cuff, obviously."

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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