“We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding,” ESPN said in a statement last night (Aug.23). “In that moment it felt right to all parties.”

Reporter Yashar Ali tweeted a statement from an unnamed ESPN executive who said the network’s decision “wasn’t about offending anyone. It was about the reasonable possibility that because of his name he would be subjected to memes and jokes and who knows what else.”

The now-public move backfired spectacularly, and ESPN has found itself directly in the outrage crosshairs from the left—who see the decision as both nonsensical and racially insensitive—and the right—who point to the decision as yet another example of PC culture gone too far.

Should ESPN stand by its decision, Lee is slated to call the Youngstown vs. University of Pittsburgh game, which also takes place on Sept. 2, the same day as the UVA opener in Charlottesville against William & Mary.

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