There is a point of going too far to be sensitive to current events… and I think ESPN has definitely found it. The rallies in Charlottesville, Virigina were centered around a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee… so ESPN has announced that Asian sports announced Robert Lee will no longer call the University of Virginia’s first college football game of the year.
Now I get that the sports network is trying to be sensitive in a very volatile time… but I think people can separate a general who died in 1890 from a guy calling a football game in 2017.
ESPN put out the following statement:
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.
I haven’t seen where it was an issue other than in the announcement, but there is word that the young announcer may have felt uncomfortable covering the UV game. If that is the case, then you quietly make the change with no need for an announcement. According to Outkick the Coverage, Dave Weekley will now call the game while Lee will announce the Youngstown State vs Pittsburgh game.