Wednesday, 23 August 2017

ESPN reassigns sports commentator Robert Lee over 'name coincidence'

ESPN has removed a sports commentator from covering an American football game in Charlottesville because he has the same name as Civil War General Robert E Lee.


Robert Lee was scheduled to cover a University of Virginia game in the city for the broadcaster on 2 September.

ESPN said it had moved Mr Lee "simply because of the coincidence of his name".

White nationalists marched through the college during a rally this month.

The rally was organised to protest against the removal of a statue of General Lee, who commanded the pro-slavery Confederate forces during the American Civil War.

It descended into violent street brawls and one woman was killed when a car ploughed through a crowd of counter-protesters.

In a statement, ESPN said: "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.

"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."

However, the decision to move Mr Lee has been ridiculed on social media.

BBC       News.

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