ESPN pulls announcer because his name is too similar to Confederate general's

  • 23/08/2017
Confederate General Robert E. Lee and ESPN announcer Robert Lee.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee and ESPN announcer Robert Lee. Photo credit: Twitter - Josh Jordan

American sports broadcaster ESPN has pulled one of its sports announcers from a college football game because of the likeness of his name.

Asian-American announcer Robert Lee will no longer call Virginia University's opening American football match because "of the coincidence of his name".

Mr Lee's name is too similar to that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee who led the Confederate Army in North Virginia during the American Civil War.

The recent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia over the removal of the general's statue led to the broadcaster making the change.

"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," ESPN said in a statement.

"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."

Mr Lee will now instead announce a Youngstown State University game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

ESPN noted that assignments get changed all the time, none the less, they've come under severe scrutiny for the move.