ESPN’s ‘Robert Lee’ Decision May Not Be That Ridiculous [Opinion]

It sounds like something The Onion would have produced just two years ago. As CNN reports, the ultimate act of political correctness has occurred.

“On Tuesday night, the network confirmed that its management moved an Asian-American announcer, Robert Lee, off the University of Virginia’s home opener football game ‘simply because of the coincidence of his name.'”

The article adds that Lee was rapidly switched to the Youngstown versus Pitt game. This occurred because of the controversy over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Instantly (and understandably), this produced some very angry people on all sides of the political isle.

The ultra-liberal site Deadspin claims that ESPN “shot itself in the d**k.”

“By now you’ve seen the news and shaken your damn head over the idiocy…This is dumb. As. S**t,” says columnist Barry Petchesky.

Many of the Deadspin commenters agree, even though the readers of this site are the ones who usually agree with decisions favoring political correctness. They basically can’t believe how insane the decision is.

Conservative site The Federalist has a headline that screams, “Confirmed: ESPN Is As Stupid As We Thought.”

Columnist Ben Domenech thinks it’s unbelievably stupid to think someone whose name is similar to that of a Confederate general would lead to upset viewers if he hosted a Charlottesville-based sporting event. Of course, Twitter has enjoyed a field day with this.

ESPN has rightfully tried to defend itself. According to Snopes, they claim the decision was made with Robert to switch games. They even hinted that this at this moment, it felt right to all parties. As ridiculous as this sounds, ESPN may have a point.

Can you imagine if they did have Robert Lee host the game? Ultra-liberal sites such as Salon, Jezebel, Slate, and HuffPost would certainly run with clickbait headlines about how “stupid,” “unwoke,” and “racist,” ESPN is for having someone named Robert Lee announce a football game in Virginia. Sure, these sites may laugh at the controversy now, but we know how they love clickbait and shaming people for alleged racism.

Deadspin is currently using vulgar language right now to condemn ESPN’s decision, but they would have used the same vulgar language if Robert Lee appeared at the event. In fact, they may have even called for an ESPN boycott.

Statue of Robert E. Lee divides people

Then, you have sites like Breitbart or The Daily Caller on the ultra-right. They would have said how hypocritical ESPN is for having somebody named “Robert Lee” host any event in Virginia, especially because the channel, they believe, is part of all the ultra-left propaganda. They would make jokes saying that the leftist ESPN, who claims tolerance, will next hire a person named Adolph to announce a sporting event in Skokie, Illinois, which has a huge Jewish population.

Both the ultra-left and ultra-right could really care less if somebody named Robert Lee hosts a Virginia sporting event or not. However, both groups love taking anything out of context in order to fit their political agendas. They take what news organizations, celebrities, politicians, and athletes do or say out of context, blow it up, and let their lynch mobs loose.

All this comes down to one thing — page views. If Robert Lee did host the game, viewers would click on faux outrage articles, companies would be making lots of money, and Robert Lee would be shamed for being an Asian that participates in such an event. Because Mr. Lee didn’t host the event, the page views and the money machine have been spinning all day anyway. In today’s clickbait climate, everybody wins. But, in the end, they also lose.

[Featured Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images]