Rob Parker, the former ESPN commentator who was suspended and then fired after calling Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a “cornball brother” because Griffin had a white fiance and may be a Republican, pitched a show to ESPN that would have had Parker hosting a sports talk show in a barbershop, where he would chat with guests.
And, according to Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s management was going to let him shoot a pilot.
According to the report, “prior to Parker being let go for his comments about” Griffin, “there was no debate about ESPN wanting to expand the First Take franchise.”
ESPN announced in November that it intended to expand “First Take” to Saturdays “with a show hosted by Parker,” and “Parker said on his Facebook page that if show did well, it had the opportunity to become a regular option on the network.”
When Sports Illustrated asked ESPN about the “viability of a Parker-led Barbershop show,” an ESPN spokesperson now said, “We review many ideas but had no plans to pursue this particular show concept.”
In defending his comments about Griffin and claiming he was not commenting on Griffin’s “blackness” on the December 13 episode of “First Take,” Parker actually brought up barbershops when he said:
I didn’t mean it like that…We could sit here and be honest, or we can be dishonest. And you can’t tell me that people in the barbershops or people that talk, they look at who your spouse is. They do. And they look at how you present yourself.