UPDATED (Dec. 20, 2012; 1:54 p.m. ET): According to ESPN, Rob Parker has been suspended for 30 days.
When Rob Parker of ESPN's First Take called Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III a "cornball brother" on national TV last week, the story exploded across the Internet and most observers came down on the side that Parker was far out of line and that his characterization of Griffin as not being "down with the cause" was insulting.
Six days later, Parker has taken to Twitter to apologize for his words, saying "I blew it" and "I'm sincerely sorry."
"I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care," Parker wrote. "This past Thursday I failed to do that. I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert's thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community.
"The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN's reaction.
"Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught -- with dignity, respect and pride. I've contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. 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."
It's hard to tell if the apology is sincere -- and really, it's probably not my place to judge -- or if he was forced to issue the mea culpa in lieu of further disciplinary actions from his employer. But in case you've forgotten, here's what Parker said last week that caused such a frenzy.
"My question, which is just a straight, honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?" Parker asked. "Well, [that] he's black, he kind of does his thing, but he's not really down with the cause, he's not one of us.
"He's kind of black, but he's not really the guy you'd really want to hang out with, because he's off to do something else."
Parker also questioned Griffin's engagement to his "white fiancée" and that the Redskins rookie might be a Republican.
During the segment, Stephen A. Smith acknowledged that Parker's monologue made him uncomfortable.
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