BRISTOL, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee will not work Virginia’s season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A spokeswoman for ESPN says Lee has been moved to Youngstown State’s game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network says the decision was made “as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name.”
Plans to remove a statue of Lee led to a protest in Charlottesville earlier this month that attracted what is believed to be the largest group of white nationalists to come together in a decade. Violent clashes erupted between a large gathering of white nationalists and hundreds of counter protesters. Heather Heyer died after a vehicle was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters.
ESPN says the decision to put Lee on another game was made “collectively.” It also says it’s “a shame that this is even a topic of conversation.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)