OPINION | ESPN's Robert Lee move displays political correctness at its worst
From the "you have to be kidding me" files, ESPN is removing a play-by-play announcer named Robert Lee from a University of Virginia football game in September because he has the same name as Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

ESPN's Lee is an Asian-American. He'll be transferred to call a Youngstown State-Pitt game instead, which won't be televised.

The University of Virginia is located in Charlottesville, which was the scene of white supremacist violence that left one woman dead on August 12. That violence was inspired by the city's decision to remove a Robert E. Lee statue.

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So in applying the same infinite, pandering wisdom that TV Land displayed in 2015 when it took "The Dukes of Hazard" off the air because the characters owned a car called "The General Lee," ESPN must have decided that its viewers would applaud its move to take Lee off the game.
 

Of course, basically NO ONE outside of Lee, his immediate family and his broadcast partner would have known Lee was even being transferred to another game if ESPN simply quietly made the move.
 
But that's not what ESPN PR is about these days.

This is the same network that awarded Caitlyn Jenner an Arthur Ashe Courage Award over a female high school basketball player with terminal cancer and an Iraq war amputee (who lost both an arm and a leg in combat).
 
This is also the same network that fired commentators like Mike Ditka and Curt Schilling for actually expressing what one would deem a conservative thought. 

This hasn't been lost on Bob Ley, a no-nonsense veteran anchor of the network for more than 30 years and host of ESPN's version of 60 Minutes in "Outside of Lines." 

“We’ve done a great job of diversity,” Ley said in 2016. “But the one place we have miles to go is diversity of thought.”
 
The network's ombudsman Jim Brady goes even further. 
 
"Many ESPN employees I talked to — including liberals and conservatives, most of whom preferred to speak on background — worry that the company’s politics have become a little too obvious, empowering those who feel as if they’re in line with the company’s position and driving underground those who don’t," Brady said.
 
ESPN has experienced major layoffs lately. Its ratings are down. Disney, its parent company, has taken a direct hit in its stock price as a result.
 
"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 on Tuesday. “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.”
 
It's a shame indeed. But ESPN is the one that made this a topic of conversation. 
 
If people have any sense of sanity left, they'll demand the network not kowtow to the very worst of political correctness in creating an issue where none existed in a quest to gain some sort of pious moral high ground.
 
Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) is a media reporter for The Hill.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.