Via Sports Media Journal:
ESPN on Thursday announced that it has suspended ESPN2 First Take analyst Rob Parker 30 days for comments he made last week about Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III.
Here is the official statement from ESPN Vice President of Production Marcia Keegan, who oversees First Take:
“ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode ofFirst Take. 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.”
Many have speculated that Parker would lose his job over the statements. I’m sure the leash will be extra short when he returns.
It is also interesting what types of “editorial oversight” the network and producers will take to ensure these events do not happen again.
It is clear ESPN has taken to being more debate-driven, given that sports news does not get generated on a level to keep up with our 24/7 lifestyles. SportsCenter is stale after it first airs. This will be a big issue facing ESPN in the coming months as it struggles to find an information niche to fit into its multiple platforms.
Photo via ESPN.