Robert Lee, an Asian-American commentator with ESPN, will not be calling an upcoming University of Virginia football game.
Lee, according to his Twitter profile, can be seen on ESPNU and ESPN3. At the center of the issue is his name, which is the same as that of Robert E. Lee, the long-deceased Confederate general.
"We collectively made the decision with Robert to switch games as the tragic events in Charlottesville were unfolding, simply because of the coincidence of his name. 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 said in a statement late Tuesday night.
UVA is in Charlottesville, Va., where violent protests broke out less than two weeks ago when white supremacists gathered to oppose the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. An alleged white suprememacist drove his car into a crowd of anti-protestors, killing Hannah Heyer.
The Virginia Cavaliers football team opens its season against the William and Mary Tribe over Labor Day weekend.
Lee will now call the Youngstown State game at Pittsburgh, ESPN said, noting that it often switches game assignments.
ESPN is a global sports television channel operated by the Walt Disney Company. Nielsen has reported that ESPN's viewership has dropped in recent years. The channel has also been accused of having left-leaning bias.
Blogger Clay Travis first broke the news about Lee.