Asian-American ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee taken off UVA game because of his name

From the “That Makes Perfect Sense” file today:

Sports broadcaster Robert Lee won’t be working Virginia’s season opener next month because of the recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, The Associated Press reports. Instead, Robert Lee will work a different game.

ESPN says the decision was made “collectively … as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name.”

Robert Lee is Asian-American and as far as we know, has no ties to the Confederacy or white supremacy.

  • Gary F

    The already sinking boat named ESPN just made another hole in their boat,

    • Must be with the 7th Fleet.

      • Gary F

        It will be interesting to see what comes of this. When have you seen our ships have two major accidents in less than six months?

        • ec99

          The naval career of a couple of COs has come to an end.

        • You mean FOUR accidents in 6 months.

      • Bob Sinclair


  • Kellpa07

    I saw this yesterday, but what I read had no real links to a trustworthy source, so I assumed this was a hoax, because no one could be that dumb.

    • Gary F

      Yep, I thought it was an Onion post.

    • AL287

      Yes. They are that dumb.

  • AL287

    I think the management at ESPN has played just a little too much contact football.

    Do they really think that an Asian sports broadcaster named Robert Lee is going to put off football fanatics in the U.S.?

    These guys need to stop drinking the KoolAid. Every third person in China is named Lee.


    • QuietBlue

      There was just a controversy about the USC mascot horse having the same name (Traveler) as Robert E. Lee’s horse, though his had an extra L. That might have had something to do with this.

      • Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller? “Trigger” warning! 😉

        • Rob

          //”Trigger” warning// Good stuff(ing)!

      • AL287

        Of course! The horse was named Traveler to placate all those white supremacists in California which by the way has a large population of hate groups.

        Political correctness run amok. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve!

        My advice—if you don’t like the mascot’s name or the sports commentator don’t watch and don’t show up.

        • ??

          “Traveller” was the accepted spelling of British origin 150 years ago. Much of the South back then was Anglo-Saxon in origin, too.

          “Traveler” is the accepted Real ‘Murican spelling. USA!


          • Jack

            That’s the word that caused me to lose a Scrabble game 26 years ago. Darn American spelling – didn’t get accepted by my colleagues in a former British colony.

            It’s okay. Ended up getting a spouse instead of a win. (Yes we are still married and no, I still can’t win in Scrabble!)

  • Gawd forbid there is someone on ESPN’s air staff named “Robert Ely”!

    /sarcasm off

  • ec99

    ESPN has been a big drag on Disney’s bottom line, due both to people cutting the cable and their move toward politicizing sports.

    • Barton

      true, but I adore ESPN3, where I can actually see sports that I still like to watch.

      Remember when ESPN used to show Aussie Rules Football? That was entertainment!

      • ec99

        ESPN expanded to too many channels. In order to stay on the air, ESPNU shows NCAA women’s bowling and ESPN3 high school boys’ lacrosse. Now they have high school football teams traveling across the country: a CA school in Ohio, a TX team in Florida.

  • Jim in RF

    Those big media companies can make some strange decisions (see Dinner Party Download).

  • AL287

    On an aside, does anyone know what’s happened to Bob Collins?

    Has he retired? Is he okay?

    He usually tells us if he is going to be away and have guest moderators.

    • Kassie

      He tweeted that he was working on his son’s deck with the hashtag #vacation17 a couple days ago.

      • AL287

        Thanks. I don’t have a Twitter account.

  • Rob

    An exemplary and morally courageous decision.

  • Barton

    “Because our core audience is still ignorant to know that Robert E Lee is dead……”

    does anyone else think the discussion went something like that? Maybe that was the unsaid portion but everyone was thinking it. (said as a lover of sports)

    • jon

      I hear that Robert E. Lee has a black friend that can prove he’s not racist, feller by the name of Frederick Douglas.

  • Jeffrey

    Increasingly the movie Idiocracy is becoming a documentary.

  • X.A. Smith

    That’s weird. Usually everything ESPN does makes perfect sense.