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ESPN suspends Rob Parker indefinitely for comments about Robert Griffin III

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  December 14, 2012 12:45 PM

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Rob Parker has been suspended indefinitely by ESPN for controversial racially charged comments he made about Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on Thursday's "First Take" program.

“Following yesterday’s comments Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said. “We are conducting a full review.”

Parker, who like Griffin is African-American, made his comments about race during a debate with fellow panelist Skip Bayless,

“My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is . . . is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?,'' said Parker. "He’s not really. He’s black, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the guy you’d want to hang out with.”

Griffin, who is engaged to a white woman, recently said he doesn't want to be defined solely as an African-American quarterback.

“I want to find about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancee. Then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I’ve got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people wondered about Tiger Woods.”

Parker's comments were included in Thursday's replay of the morning "First Take'' program. On his Twitter account (@RobParkerESPN) Thursday, Parker did not seem concerned that he would be held accountable for the comments, responding to one commenter who suggested he would lose his job, "Typical silly response. Watch me on First Take tomorrow and Sat.#pleze."

His comments were not addressed during Friday's edition of "First Take." Parker was not part of the show, which aired before his suspension was announced.

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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