A Democratic lawmaker mocked ESPN Wednesday over its decision to remove broadcaster Robert Lee from covering a University of Virginia football game because he shares a name with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen called the decision “idiocy” and ridiculed ESPN by asking if the broadcaster and the Civil War general were one in the same.
If this isn’t the same Lee that led the Confederate Army, ESPN needs to reverse this idiocy https://t.co/Cv2gdKQZLs
— Rep. Rick Larsen (@RepRickLarsen) August 23, 2017
ESPN reassigned the Asian American announcer in response to the violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Va., Outkick The Coverage reported Tuesday night.
ESPN defended the decision in a statement released after the report emerged.
“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,” the statement reads.
Larsen is not alone in his condemnation of the decision. A plethora of media personalities and journalists mocked, derided and condemned ESPN for the move.
Not The Onion. https://t.co/OiE2uFpVDu
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 22, 2017
— JohnWickofPolitics (@Gingrich_of_PA) August 23, 2017
Oh my STUPID: They pulled Asian announcer Robert Lee because his named is too close 2 Confederate General Robert E. Lee to avoid “offending” https://t.co/8t498tTe5N
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 22, 2017
ESPN has increasingly come under fire over accusations of political bias. A study released in May found that the sports network is hemorrhaging conservative viewers across the country as their coverage punditry swings further left.
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