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ESPN Under Fire For Removing An Anchor Because He Shares His Name With A Confederate General

ESPN has left fans scratching their heads after reporting a change of assignment because of an announcer's name.

College sports fans might recognize the voice of announcer Robert Lee, who calls college football and basketball games for the network. Since joining ESPN in 2016 Lee's name - which is the same as Civil War General Robert E. Lee's - hasn't caused any trouble for him.

But after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protests over the removal of a statue of Lee turned violent and a white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of people, ESPN has decided to switch Lee to a different game to avoid any controversy.

As the network explains, Lee was scheduled to announce a football game between the University of Virginia, which is in Charlottesville, and the College of William and Mary. It seems ESPN was trying to avoid any jokes about "Lee and Charlottesville."

But the network's attempt to be sensitive has rubbed some fans the wrong way.

Many assumed the news about Lee being moved to a different game was a joke, until ESPN confirmed their decision.

“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding," the network explained, "simply because of the coincidence of his name."

While ESPN says that "it's a shame that this is even a topic of conversation," most fans seem to think the network is being overly sensitive.

"If this society can't tell the difference from "Robert E Lee" from 150+ years ago to an Asian sportscaster "Robert Lee" we are in trouble," one fan wrote on Twitter.

Others poked fun at the decision, asking if the network would air a game with a player named "Robert Lee." Lee will still announce a different game on the same TV network during the same weekend.

As fans have pointed out, Lee or Li is one of the most common last names on the planet, shared by more than 100 million people worldwide.

Did ESPN make the right decision? Share this story and tell us!

[H/T: NY Times]