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ESPN’s Robert Lee Won’t Announce Virginia Game Because of His Name

BRISTOL, Connecticut — ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee won't work Virginia's college football season opener because of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., sparked by the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

A spokeswoman for ESPN said Lee had been moved to Youngstown State's game at Pittsburgh on the ACC Network on Sept. 2. The network said 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 the general led to a protest in Charlottesville 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.

ESPN decision about sportscaster Robert Lee stirs controversy 1:24

ESPN said the decision to put Lee on another game was made "collectively." It added that it was "a shame that this is even a topic of conversation."