ESPN announced yesterday that it has removed a young play-by-play announcer from an upcoming University of Virginia football game out of fear that his name could cause some problems in the wake of the violent rally in Charlottesville.
The network says Robert Lee, a young Asian-American announcer who is just starting his career in broadcasting, will be assigned to a different game because of his name’s resemblance to the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, whose statue was the focal point of the violence in Charlottesville. ESPN says it made the move out of concern that viewers might find the coincidence offensive and turn it into a national joke.
An ESPN executive says Lee was not forced to switch assignments and that he was simply offered the option of calling another game, which he ultimately chose to do. (USA Today)
- Many people initially thought this was a joke because it is just so ridiculous.
- Few people would have even made the connection, and if they did, they would have realized it was just a coincidence.
- ESPN says it was a mutual decision, but there’s no way.
- People are very sensitive and ESPN didn’t want to rock the boat. It’s not a big deal. Robert Lee will still get to call a game.
- Maybe ESPN should tell him to go by Rob Lee or Robby Lee.