ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee was scheduled to call an upcoming University of Virginia football game, but in light of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, the Worldwide Leader in Sports has pulled him from that assignment because of the similarity between his name and that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch released ESPN’s statement on the situation, stating that it was Lee’s decision to request a different assignment:
Here's the statement from ESPN PR: pic.twitter.com/VWuRQLwQvi
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 23, 2017
Lee’s decision to request a change of assignment comes on the heels of protests in Charlottesville a couple of weeks ago, in which a counter protester, Heather Heyer, was killed by a white supremacist.
While ESPN’s decision certainly seemed odd at first, it becomes a bit more understandable after it was made clear that it was Lee’s choice rather than the global sports television company.