USA Today's Hiestand: ESPN Should Give Parker Second Chance After RGIII Comments
ESPN "First Take" panelist Rob Parker's comments last Thursday regarding Redskins QB Robert Griffin III raise TV sportscasting's "most basic job requirement: Avoid overt racial or ethnic stereotypes -- or even talking about race unless your points are carefully considered and worded," according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. Even on a "little-watched show such as 'First Take,' everyone must be thoughtful when discussing race and ethnicity," but Parker "wasn't." However, ESPN should "give him another chance." Beyond the "specifics, Parker's error was like those of others who survived on-air comments about race: He did not take the subject seriously enough" (USA TODAY, 12/19). In Miami, David Neal wrote ESPN's suspension of Parker revealed the company to be "The Worldwide Leader in Hypocrisy." ESPN "created the environment for Parker to wax so stupidly," but now they "want to step back, let him catch all the hell and hope nobody bothers to give them some" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/18). In Detroit, Eric Lacy reported the job status of Parker at Detroit's WDIV-NBC "is unclear." Parker has been "writing occasionally for WDIV's ClickOnDetroit website for several months now, and has made several on-air appearances, representing the station, to discuss a variety of sports-related topics." Parker also has been "featured on WDIV's Sunday night 'Sports Final Edition' show" (MLIVE.com, 12/18).
POSTGAME PRAISE: In Baltimore, David Zurawik gave his "vote for the best TV post-game show of the year: ESPN's Trent Dilfer and Steve Young ripping the New York Jets like I have not seen an NFL team ripped by analysts in some time." Their commentary was "so informed, passionate, fearless and honest that I literally wanted to get up out of my chair ... and cheer." Dilfer, who was "by far the angrier of the two," talked about the way Jets coach "Rex Ryan's team laid down like a bunch of whipped dogs." Zurawik: "I love the way he and Young chronicle the absolute 'dysfunction' of the team under Ryan" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 12/18).