Dem lawmaker: ‘Idiocy’ for ESPN to remove announcer Robert Lee from Virginia football game

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) is calling out ESPN for removing an announcer from covering a University of Virginia football game because he shares a name with Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“If this isn’t the same Lee that led the Confederate Army, ESPN needs to reverse this idiocy,” Larsen tweeted Wednesday.

ESPN announcer Robert Lee was originally scheduled to announce Virginia’s football game vs. William & Mary in early September. ESPN said it made the change “as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding.”

{mosads}Virginia’s campus is in Charlottesville, the site of a white supremacist rally last week that erupted into violence, leaving one counterprotester dead. The rally was organized in part to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.

ESPN defended the decision, saying it is a “shame” that they had to do it.

“In that moment it felt right to all parties,” ESPN said. “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.”

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