The network confirmed that Asian American announcer Robert Lee would not be participating in the University's opening game against the College of William and Mary because of the coincidence of Lee sharing the same last name with Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The decision to reassign Lee to the Youngstown State at Pittsburgh game was made to protect his safety following the white nationals rally in Charlottesville that left three people dead.
"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,” ESPN addressed in a statement.
However, removing Robert Lee from the equation out of fear was seen as an example of political correctness "run amok."
ESPN's move quickly set off incendiary remarks online.
Website Outkick the Coverage castigated the network by calling it "MSESPN," a snub aimed at the liberal-heavy talk shows that air on MSNBC.
Their headline read: "MSESPN Pulls Asian Announcer Named Robert Lee Off UVA Game To Avoid Offending Idiots."
"Does ESPN really believe people are this dumb or that having an Asian announcer named Robert Lee is too offensive for the average TV viewer to handle?" the website asked. Their own response: "Yes, yes they do. I’m sorry you work for such an idiotic company, Robert Lee."