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Rob Parker suspended for RGIII comments

1:48 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
May 6, 2012; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) prepares to throw the ball during rookie minicamp at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
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Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY Sports

ESPN says Rob Parker will get a 30-day suspension for his controversial comments about race and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III last week on the daytime show First Take.

Megan Keegan, ESPN vice president/production, says in a statement that the network made mistakes in the show's "preparation" and in re-airing the show without cutting out Parker's comments. Says Keegan: "Both were errors on our part."

Parker's suspension, which will last 30 days from its start last Friday, came from what Keegan calls "inappropriate" remarks.

And Keegan says going forward First Take will have "enhanced editorial oversight" and unspecified "appropriate disciplinary measures" have been taken "with the personnel responsible" for Parker's comments airing.

After the statement was released, ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said the network declined to make further comments.

ESPN commentator Parker has said he "blew it" in on-air comments about rookie quarterback Griffin and says he hopes to apologize to Griffin directly.

On ESPN2's First Take talk show last week, Parker, who is African American, asked whether Griffin is a "cornball brother" and said Griffin is "black" but is "not really down with the cause. He's not one of us."

In a tweet Wednesday, Parker says he understands "the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. ... I failed to do that. ... As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner."

When asked about the Parker flap by USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday, Griffin said he wasn't aware of the controversy until checking Twitter last week and has never felt it necessary to respond.

"It says in the Bible that you don't have to fight your own battles," he said.

USA TODAY Sports

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