The tragic events in Charlottesville, Va. have ESPN, and everyone in America, erring on the side of caution with concern to cultural issues. But is the network overdoing it by re-assigning an Asian-American anchor, who happens to share a name with Confederate General Robert E. Lee?
“When the protests in Charlottesville were happening, we raised with him the notion of switching games,” ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca told Raw Story about the proactive decision. “We didn’t make him. We asked him. Eventually we mutually agreed to switch.”
Lee is now scheduled to work the Youngstown State’s game at the University of Pittsburgh on September 2.
After social media mocked the decision, an ESPN executive emailed the press saying concerns about the “Coincidence of (Lee’s) name,” were proven reasonable by the viral reaction to the story. The network insisted that their concern was making a young prospect the victim of insensitive memes, not an example of political correctness run amok.
“In that moment, it felt right to all parties,” said ESPN’s official statement. “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.”
Did the network make the right decision?