ESPN sportscaster won't go to Virginia because his name is 'offensive'
What was this guy thinking?
Honestly, it's his own fault for not saying anything to his parents in the delivery room not four minutes after being born into this world. As soon as Mr. and Mrs. Lee announced they were going to name their son "Robert", the writhing infant should have jumped in to stop them from making a grave mistake. Little did he know, his inaction as a helpless being would cause such a shitstorm decades later.
It's a stupid story, really. A guy named "Robert Lee" just so happens to talk on microphones during football games for a living and is coincidentally scheduled to call the University of Virginia home opener against William and Mary on Sept. 2 — the site of social unrest less than a month ago. To avoid a meme-like controversy, the lot of them at ESPN decided it was best to quietly move Lee to another game.
“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,” Derek Volner, an ESPN spokesman, told The Washington Post. “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."
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Yashar Ali, contributing writer for outlets like New York Magazine, Mother Jones and HuffPo, received a longer explanation from the sports network, one obviously hurried along with a tone of dissapointment in the human race.
Just received this email from an ESPN executive re the Robert Lee controversy. pic.twitter.com/OuBORlWO9f— Yashar Ali (@yashar) August 23, 2017
Because this is, after all, a non-issue. But as one of the biggest broadcasting networks in the world, minute details like these are often weighed heavier behind the scenes than most would ever imagine. Had Lee chosen to call the game, there would have been controversy. Now that he isn't, there's controversy. It's a new world, and not one easy to navigate when a populous is more concerned about shouting into the void than they are figuring out whether or not this is something worth fighting for.
Though it could have been a lot worse for Lee: His parents could have named him "Richard." *shudders*