ESPN Opts Not to Renew Rob Parker's Contract After RGIII Comments
Less than a month after suspending Rob Parker for 30 days, ESPN announced on Tuesday that it was not going to renew the controversial analyst's contract.
The news comes from Sports Business Journal's John Ourand:
ESPN: "Rob Parker’s contract expired at year’s end.Evaluating our needs and his work...we decided not to renew his deal."— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 8, 2013
In case you missed what caused Parker's original suspension, you can find the video of Parker's controversial comments here.
During a rousing First Take debate, Parker called Robert Griffin III a "cornball brother" and said that "he's not really down with the cause." As a result, ESPN unsurprisingly had a mutiny on its hands.
The network had no choice but to suspend Parker.
Not long after the incident Parker issued a formal apology, and it seemed like all was fine with the company and him, but this decision speaks to the exact contrary.
Did ESPN make the right decision here?
ESPN didn't give a specific reason as to why Parker's contract wasn't renewed, but he recently gave an interview in which he said that his comments were taken out of context, which seemingly went against his former apology. It's unlikely that was something ESPN higher-ups wanted to hear.
No matter the reason, however, this isn't exactly a surprising development.
Parker may have apologized, but he was never going to be seen in the same light. As long as he was a part of ESPN, plenty of viewers would have refused to support the network simply because his name and shocking comments were still attached to it.
In the end, cutting ties with Parker is a decision that will undoubtedly be beneficial for ESPN.
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