ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not work Virginia’s season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A spokeswoman for ESPN says Lee has been moved to Youngstown State’s game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network says the decision was made “as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name.”
Plans to remove a statue of Lee led to a protest in Charlottesville earlier this month that attracted what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade. Violent clashes erupted between a large gathering of white nationalists and hundreds of counter protesters.
ESPN says the decision to put Lee on another game was made “collectively.” It also says it’s “a shame that this is even a topic of conversation.”
Read the full statement from ESPN below:
Just received this email from an ESPN executive re the Robert Lee controversy. pic.twitter.com/OuBORlWO9f
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 23, 2017
Watch Tucker Carlson rip the decision by ESPN: