ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVa Football Game … Because His Name Is Robert Lee

 

The man shown to the left is sportscaster Robert Lee. The man to the right is Confederate General Robert E. Lee. ESPN was afraid that viewers would mix them up.

Mr. Lee (the one who didn’t die in 1870) was scheduled to announce next weekend’s University of Virginia football game against William and Mary. This match-up will be hosted in Charlottesville, which has a statue of Gen. Lee (who never provided NCAA play-by-play). ESPN decided that this was far too confusing for their viewers to process. So, in a move not to further inflame the neo-confederate armies sweeping this grand republic, the network benched their announcer.

From the sports blog Outkick the Coverage, which broke the story:

But, seriously, is there anything more pathetic than ESPN believing people would be offended by an Asian guy named Robert Lee sharing a name with Robert E. Lee and calling a football game? Aside from some hysterical photoshops and Internet memes which would make everyone with a functional brain laugh — Robert E. Lee pulling out all the stops to stay in Charlottesville now! — what was the big fear here? Does ESPN really believe people are this dumb or that having an Asian announcer named Robert Lee is too offensive for the average TV viewer to handle?

Yes, yes they do.

When the story broke, the internet figured it must have been a joke. I mean, this had to be The Onion, right? But, early Tuesday night, ESPN confirmed the madness:

We 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. In that moment it felt right to all parties. It’s a shame that this is even a topic of conversation and we regret that who calls play by play for a football game has become an issue.

It only became an issue because ESPN made it an issue.

Note to any budding sportscasters out there: If your first name happens to be Stonewall, you might want change it, pronto.

There are 66 comments.

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  1. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    This foolishness has got to stop.

    • #1
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:46 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  2. EJHill Podcaster

    *Fervently looking for proof that General Joe Buck once led Confederate troops into battle*

    We truly live in stupid times.

    • #2
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:52 PM PDT
    • 30 likes
  3. Dave Carter Contributor

    The good news is that the game will now be called by Buford T. Justice.

    • #3
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:54 PM PDT
    • 30 likes
  4. Profile Photo Member

    This is designed to keep the issue alive, not calm things down.

    • #4
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:57 PM PDT
    • 28 likes
  5. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Dave Carter (View Comment):

    The good news is that the game will now be called by Buford T. Justice.

    “The got-damn Germans got nothing to do with it!”

    • #5
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:57 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Liver Pate Inactive

    This is Kaos.

    • #6
    • August 22, 2017, at 7:59 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Ansonia Member

    Just when you think they can’t do more to create and encourage histrionic and stupid, they hit a new low.

    • #7
    • August 22, 2017, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  8. Quake Voter Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Note to any budding sportscasters out there: If your first name happens to be Stonewall, you might want change it, pronto.

    Or maybe just make sure your outfit provides the right branding:

    Stonewall Riots Drag Queen No drag queens at stonewall you say? we say ...

    • #8
    • August 22, 2017, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Weeping Member

    • #9
    • August 22, 2017, at 8:33 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Influencer Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: When the story broke, the internet figured it must have been a joke. I mean, this had to be The Onion, right?

    I still can’t believe this isn’t a joke.

    In fact, rather than spend any time trying to verify it, I’m just going to presume it’s a joke. That way I can sleep well, still believing that all’s right with the world. So, ha ha, J.G.! You almost fooled me! But nobody could be this gullible!

    • #10
    • August 22, 2017, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  11. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Pseudodionysius (View Comment):
    This is Kaos.

    It’s the work of The Craw.

    • #11
    • August 22, 2017, at 9:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Quake Voter Inactive

    Perhaps he could claim his immigrant family mostly pronounces the name “Ree” and go with that? I mean privileged Asians who have emerged from concentration camps, pirate infested seas, and communist gulag states already have to score 450 points above other races on the SAT to gain entrance to elite colleges. Why not make other changes to appease this country’s asinine racial sensitivities.

    • #12
    • August 22, 2017, at 9:42 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  13. Locke On Member

    • #13
    • August 22, 2017, at 9:46 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. Anuschka Inactive

    In the words of the immortal Yogi Berra: “How can you think and hit at the same time?”

    • #14
    • August 22, 2017, at 10:03 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Terry Mott Member

    Does anyone know if Carrie Fisher actually filmed any scenes for the upcoming Star Wars film before her untimely death? If so, Disney might want to quickly edit those out before the left-bot idiots declare a boycott.

    I mean, obviously, “General Leia” is just too problematic to be allowed.

    • #15
    • August 22, 2017, at 10:24 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  16. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Are we the only intelligent people left in this country?

    • #16
    • August 22, 2017, at 10:25 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. Cow Girl Thatcher

    (Pardon my French…) Holy crap! that is just amazing…

    • #17
    • August 22, 2017, at 10:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Joseph Stanko Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    I mean privileged Asians who have emerged from concentration camps, pirate infested seas, and communist gulag states already have to score 450 points above other races on the SAT to gain entrance to elite colleges. Why not make other changes to appease this country’s asinine racial sensitivities.

    The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against Oracle for hiring too many Asian software engineers:

    Court records suggest that Oracle snubbed qualified Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American applicants in favor of Asian candidates for jobs in the technical and product development realms.

    The Department of Labor asserts that such favoritism towards Asians, and particularly South Asians, was going on since at least January of 2013.

    Asinine indeed.

    • #18
    • August 22, 2017, at 10:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Larry Koler Inactive

    What about the Democratic Party’s name? When is that going to embarrass people enough to have them (or at least their name) banned from TV?

    • #19
    • August 22, 2017, at 11:05 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  20. Larry Koler Inactive

    BD1 (View Comment):
    This is designed to keep the issue alive, not calm things down.

    This ^^^. Probably what’s really going on.

    • #20
    • August 22, 2017, at 11:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Is Chris Fowler still working for ESPN? Because if I’m watching a game and someone fouls someone, becoming a “Fouler”, I woud be so confused!

    • #21
    • August 23, 2017, at 12:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Percival Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):
    *Fervently looking for proof that General Joe Buck once led Confederate troops into battle*

    Oh please oh please oh please oh please …

    • #22
    • August 23, 2017, at 2:36 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  23. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    In that moment it felt right to all parties.

    In the insane asylum where ESPN leadership plants their dumpy bottoms, maybe.

    You people. Look what you’ve done. Elevated stupid and embarrassing to historic levels.

    • #23
    • August 23, 2017, at 3:42 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. She Thatcher
    She

    So, now, apparently, ESPN is blaming Robert Lee for this? As in, “No politically correct efforts. No race issues. Just trying to be supportive of a young guy who felt it best to avoid the potential zoo.”

    I don’t know much about this Robert Lee except that he’s a graduate of Syracuse University, is married, has a daughter, and has a responsible, and presumably fairly well-paying job.

    On top of that, maybe he’s even old enough, even in in this age of endless adolescence, that he’s not eligible for coverage on his parents’ health insurance any more!

    But what I do know, if there is any truth to the email from ESPN that’s referenced in this tweet, is that there was a time (long, long ago, and further away than I thought, apparently), when the adults running the show known as life would provide sage and stabilizing counsel to a young fellow in a tizzy, instead of buying into the hysteria, and jumping on board his foolish bandwagon with him.

    If this latest information is true, then I have even less respect for ESPN leadership this morning than I had when I went to bed last night.

    “Yoi! And double Yoi!” As the only sportscaster I can quote at random or at length, without having to look something up, might have said about this.

    PS: Dear ESPN

    Stop digging.

    Regards (She) Moderator

    • #24
    • August 23, 2017, at 3:47 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  25. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    What about Bob Ley of ESPN? His last name is pronounced Lee and apparently in looking this up I discover that one of his nicknames is General.

    What about football analyst Tom Jackson who was apparently the one largely responsible for getting Rush Limbaugh from ESPN? Thomas Jackson is the actual name of Stonewall Jackson.

    What about the director of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Jumanji? He’s named Joseph Eggleston Johnston.

    What about American actor and comedian Robert “Bobby” Lee, Jr.?

    They should replace him with Whose Line Is It Anyway? comedian Jeff Davis, assuming that fellow comedian George Wallace isn’t available.

    At least we aren’t stuck with a president with a Confederate name like JEB!

    • #25
    • August 23, 2017, at 3:58 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  26. Profile Photo Member

    Can anyone recommend a good Lawyer for Mr. Lee?

    • #26
    • August 23, 2017, at 4:16 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Patrick McClure Member

    Jubilation T Cornpone will now call the game.

    • #27
    • August 23, 2017, at 4:34 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  28. Concretevol Thatcher

    This has to be one of the dumbest stories I’ve ever heard. God what a stupid time to be alive

    • #28
    • August 23, 2017, at 4:41 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  29. Michael Brehm Member

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):
    Jubilation T Cornpone will now call the game.

    Man that takes me back. When I was in 9th grade we did Lil’ Abner as our musical that year. Of course, our Statue of Ol’ Jubilation T was sitting backwards in the saddle, as was befitting of Dogpatch.

    • #29
    • August 23, 2017, at 4:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Columbo Member

    • #30
    • August 23, 2017, at 4:56 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
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