By Anthony Donatelli

Robert Lee, a play-by-play announcer for ESPN, has been pulled from calling college football’s Week 1 match-up between Virginia and William & Mary because of the similarity of his name to Confederate general Robert E. Lee, according to Sports Illustrated.

ESPN put out the following statement regarding their decision:

“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. 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.”

The move comes after White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12 as they marched on Virginia’s campus with torches and chanting racial slurs.

Lee will now call the Pittsburgh–Youngstown State game in Week 1.


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