Opinion

Saving Robert Lee

ESPN, long the MSNBC of sports, made a bizarre executive decision to remove Asian-American football announcer Robert Lee from the William & Mary vs. Virginia game. It looked like an Onion headline. But no, ESPN continues to make a left-wing joke of itself. Northern liberal elites’ hatred of the South has finally spilled over to South Korea.

ESPN’s premise: racists would make fun of poor Robert Lee and perhaps riot. No one cared. ESPN’s move mirrors the goal of fellow Traveler(s) on the left, which is to paint the right and the South as racist.

Since drifting to the left, the struggling sports quasi-monopoly has lost ten million viewers. Yet its owner, Disney, continues to let it make stupid PC decisions. ESPN spun this decision as a courageous move and said that it was protecting poor Robert Lee. I smell the bestowing of an Arthur Ashe Award of Courage on themselves at the ESPYs.

In an olive branch to the right, ESPN is willing to let Washington and Lee University keep its name if it will agree to change the Washington to Denzel and the Lee to Spike. For ESPN, those are generous terms, just like your cable bill: take it or leave it. ESPN demands unconditional surrender, and wants to film the surrender ceremony at Appomattox for a yet-untitled 30 for 30 Special.

And ESPN covering William and Mary? It’s our oldest college, so you know either William or Mary was up to no good. Find something racist to feign selective outrage; don’t be lazy journalists!

ESPN locks us up like slaves in those oppressive cable contracts so we don’t get no uppity ideas about escaping. So, in the spirit of the real Robert E. Lee, let’s organize a militia, flank the network from the South, break the cable cords to ESPN, and declare our sovereignty from its lobbyist-driven pricing oppression.

Let’s run the Statue of Libertarian play on ESPN:  Get a TV antenna at Wal-Mart for $20 and you can get crystal-clear HD of the major broadcast stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and FOX) for free. Then try to unbundle and get Fox News on cable.

The only time price gouging like cable TV, health care, etc. ever exists is when regulators and politicians have their grifting hands in the mix.

Cut the cable cord and save $1,000 after-tax dollars a year. Just go to a sports bar or a friend’s house to watch the occasional game you must see live on ESPN. If you miss the NFL draft on ESPN, just watch the simulcast on COPS or America’s Most Wanted.

You know ESPN is way left if Keith Olbermann flourished there. He has been fired from other stations like MSNBC, NBC, Current TV and local KCBS. Had Confederate Civil War cannons been fired as much as Olbermann, our nation’s capital would be Richmond, VA.

Let’s be clear on history. As mayor of Baltimore, Nancy Pelosi’s dad dedicated statues of Confederate soldiers. Almost all statues of Confederate generals were erected by Democrats. And more Republicans died from gunshot wounds in Chicago last week than fought for the South in the Civil War.

Here’s how it should be done: Georgia debated and finally minimized the Confederate flag on the state flag. They wrestled with other options to replace it. Georgia has so many nudie bars, I suggested they place a brass pole on the flag. But my voice was not heard.

As a Southerner, I can tell you we have moved on. The only reason some want to display a Confederate flag any more is because pious pricks in the northern media tell us we can’t. Houston, TX citizen rednecks in their bass boats, some with rebel flags, rescued blacks, whites and Hispanics — equally – from the flooding. We did not whine about government being the answer. You Northerners in cities like Boston need to look at yourselves and ask, who are really more racist? Stop projecting on us.

If we take down all our Confederate statues, where will teachers take their kids on field trips for White History Month? Keep in mind, there won’t be a Mitt Romney Presidential Library now.

And at this rate, the only Confederate statue remaining in football will be Terry Bradshaw.

One lesson we can learn from ESPN that our generals learned in the Civil War: If you find yourself sitting atop a dead horse, dismount as soon as you can.

A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at [email protected] or Twitter @RonaldHart.