There will be no next take for Rob Parker.
The “First Take” analyst, who had been serving a month-long suspension for openly wondering if Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “a brother or… a cornball brother,” is officially on a permanent sabbatical from ESPN.
The thirty-day suspension was retroactive to the day Parker uttered those remarks on ESPN2’s “First Take,” December 13. Which means he would have been eligible to return to the Worldwide Leader’s airwaves as soon as next week, perhaps in time for the new Saturday edition of “First Take” that ESPN had named him host of.
Now, because of his last “Take” – his boneheaded RGIII ultimatum – Parker won’t be working for the weekend.
“Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew,” ESPN public relations wiz Mike Soltys disclosed via Twitter, regarding Parker’s contract, which he noted “expired at year end.”
Incidentally, on the first Sunday of the new year, who popped up on the NBC affiliate in Detroit but Rob Parker, maintaining that he didn’t intend for any “backlash” to happen, adding: “We are willing to tackle a lot of stuff that most shows won’t touch or even discuss. I think it’s important and that we’ve done it in a good way.”
See, there’s a reason that, say, Steve Mariucci isn’t breaking down RGIII’s strengths and weaknesses while throwing in that he “may be a Republican,” and that could doom him come November.
In other words, people “won’t touch” it for a reason.
And to go there and proclaim you’ve “done it in a good way”?
If I were George Bodenheimer or John Skipper, I’d break Parker off right then and there, rather than let him finish out the suspension.
But as Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand stresses, ESPN’s decision to ax Parker was made well before his Sunday sitdown in his old stomping grounds surfaced.
Whatever the case… not to pat myself on the keyboard here, but if you read my post on the day Parker’s suspension was made public, December 20, I argued that there could be a possibility that ESPN fire Parker at the end of the suspension. Okay, so he served 85% of it. But the fact of the matter is, he never appeared again on ESPN after his ill-advised RGIII take.
And I would be surprised if he appears on any sports television network in any meaningful role again.
Face it: Rob Parker is damaged goods. Who would want him?
And with that – and with apologies to David Letterman – I give you the top ten reasons, in the form of ten sports networks, or networks with a large sports operation, that will not dare “touch” Parker, as he himself would say.
ABC isn’t on the list, because Disney owns them, as they do ESPN. But here are some others that should have no use for his act:
10. The Golf Channel. Rob Parker probably believes it’s not dark enough for him.
9. NHL Network. The league may have just resolved its four-month-long lockout (you probably would never have known it if you were watching NHLN, unfortunately), but even egotist extraordinaire Gary Bettman isn’t crazy enough to hire Parker even in a “man-on-the-ice interview” role. Also, see Golf Channel.
8. MLB Network. Given Parker’s barbershop experience, they could appoint him as their resident “hair expert” – you know how some baseball players tend to stand out due to their kooky hairstyles. I’m sure there’s at least one MLBN employee that would welcome the move to bring Rob on board.
7. Fuel TV. Believe it or not, there may actually be a use for Parker at this channel, which specializes in MMA and other action sports. And as you may have noticed, many popular cable networks, in an effort to stay relevant when it comes to the bottom line, have been delving into the realm of reality TV. I’ve got the perfect reality show pilot for Rob Parker on Fuel: Viewers watch three crazy fights between couples or groups of people, and then have to figure out which fight was completely staged by Parker! Clearly, he has experience in this field. It would be perfect! Alas, Fuel’s days are numbered as it will eventually become Fox Sports 2 to Fox Sports 1.
6. SPEED. Features the kind of “racing” that Parker isn’t interested in. Also is slated to be blown up in favor of the aforementioned Fox Sports 2 this summer. As for the Fox network itself…
5. Fox. They already have a race baiter on their payroll. Next.
4. MSG Network. They already have a race baiter on their payroll. Next.
3. NBC. Their MSNBC unit canned Don Imus on the heels of his infamous “nappy headed ho’s” line to describe the mostly African-American Rutgers women’s basketball team.
2. CBS. Their WFAN radio canned Don Imus on the heels of his infamous “nappy headed ho’s” line to describe the mostly African-American Rutgers women’s basketball team, hours after MSNBC dropped him.
1. NFL Network. Not only did Rob Parker do a disservice to Robert Griffin III back on December 13 by suggesting he is “not down with the cause” and not the type of “brother” you would want to hang out with, he also did a disservice to the entity that signs RGIII’s paychecks: the National Football League. To hire Parker in any capacity in Culver City – poll taker, social media administrator, janitor – would be the worst move since the idea to hire replacement referees – and we all know how well that went. And you know who else would be ticked off about such a hire by NFLN: Football fans. Parker’s RGIII tirade was a detriment to them, as well. Any level-headed football follower could care less about whether or not Griffin wears braids, or any of the other “issues” Parker felt he had to “tackle”, while at the same time “[not] trying to slam the kid.”
The very next television outlet that hires Rob Parker for on-air work will be committing a slam on human nature.
Looks like he has to fix his Twitter handle now…