ESPN Nixes Asian-American Announcer, Robert Lee, From University of Virginia Football Game
The sports network said it did so 'simply because of the coincidence of his name.'
Following the deadly protests at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, ESPN has made a rather interesting call for a game it’ll be calling on campus.
Per BuzzFeed, Asian-American announcer Robert Lee has been pulled from calling Virginia’s home opener on Sept. 2. In a statement to the web publication, ESPN said that it “collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name.”
The city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee were at the center of the Charlottesville protest—that is, before it exploded into a violent gathering of racists and antisemites.
Additionally, journalist Yashar Ali tweeted another statement from an anonymous ESPN source:
Just received this email from an ESPN executive re the Robert Lee controversy. pic.twitter.com/OuBORlWO9f
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 23, 2017
ESPN has since confirmed that one of its executives did, in fact, make the statement.
Lee has been reassigned to the University of Pittsburgh’s home opener. He’s been broadcasting college games for ESPN since 2016.
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