SBD/Issue 75/Sports Media

Detroit Columnist Parker Resigns In Wake Of Marinelli Question

Detroit News Columnist
Rob Parker Resigns
Detroit News Managing Editor Don Nauss said that sports columnist Rob Parker resigned last week in the wake of Parker being "criticized for asking Lions coach Rob Marinelli if he had wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator" after the December 21 Saints-Lions game, according to the AP. Nauss said, "We said we were taking the matter seriously and we would deal with it. Draw your own conclusions about what transpired. I have to emphasize Rob submitted his resignation and we accepted it. It was a voluntary action" (AP, 1/6). The MAYNARD INSTITUTE's Richard Price reported the Newspaper Guild disclosed that Parker had been "demoted to general assignment sports reporter" in the wake of the incident. When asked whether the resignation followed a suspension of Parker's column, Nauss said, "I can't talk about personnel matters." Parker had been with the Detroit News for eight years (MJIE.org, 1/6). Parker, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, appeared on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" to discuss the resignation. Parker: “I asked the paper for a buyout and they granted me one, and it was a lot deeper than that. I know the timing and ... the situation and circumstance just makes it look like it all had to do (with the Marinelli issue). But the newspaper is changing. It’s about to make some major changes in March … and I just thought it was time for me to leave because we’re not on the same page as far as reporting and trying to get at a story and how you go about it.” Parker said he “loves Detroit," but added when "asking the question becomes such a story, I just think maybe it’s time for me to be in another situation.” Parker said the issue with Marinelli did not prohibit him from doing his job in Detroit, because “I don’t think it was mean-spirited (and) I attempted to apologize” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN2, 1/7).

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