ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not call the University of Virginia's home opener because he shares a name with the Confederate general at the center of the recent violence in Charlottesville.
“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,” an ESPN spokesman told The Washington Post.
Instead, Lee will call play by play for Youngstown State's game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2.
"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.” ESPN added.
Earlier this month white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed during a rally aimed at showing opposition to the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. One person was killed and 19 other were injured when a man drove his car into a crowd.
ESPN's decision to pull Lee from the game left some social media users wondering whether the move was necessary. Several pointed out that ESPN's Robert Lee clearly isn't the Confederate general at the center of the controversy.
While others used the decision to take aim at other sports commentators.
And yet Stephen Smith (Confederate commander of Company G, Arkansas 25th infantry) remains on the air! Outrageous!— andysere (@andysere) August 23, 2017