ESPN president John Skipper has explained that the decision to remove Robert Lee as an announcer from Tuesday night’s football game was not because network bosses were worried about offending people.
Skipper sent an internal memo on Wednesday night, later obtained by CNN, which said: “There was never any concern — by anyone, at any level — that Robert Lee’s name would offend anyone watching the Charlottesville game.
“Among our Charlotte production staff there was a question as to whether — in these divisive times — Robert’s assignment might create a distraction, or even worse, expose him to social hectoring and trolling.”
Lee was supposed to announce the University of Virginia’s home opener football game, but was switched to announce Youngstown State University pit against the University of Pittsburgh instead. The move comes after violence broke out at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.
Skipper added that Lee had some hesitation himself about announcing the Virginia game and opted for the Youngstown State/Pitt game when offered.
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