Years ago, I heard a phrase that’s become a cliché. It said “There’s no sense making something idiot-proof. They’ll just build a better idiot.” After reading this article, I think we’ve found the article that’s a perfect match for that cliché. The article I’m talking about is about ESPN’s decision to pull college football play-by-play announcer Robert Lee from working the University of Virginia-William & Mary game.

ESPN issued a statement to explain why they’d made this decision. ESPN said “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.”

In Sports Illustrated’s article, they wrote “White nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12 to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee. White nationalist marched on Virginia’s campus with torches, chanted racial slurs and intimidated counter-protestors. One woman was killed when a white supremacist drove a car into a group of counter-protestors.”

All of which has nothing to do with play-by-play announcer Robert Lee.

David Whitley’s article speaks for lots of people when it says “ESPN apparently thinks its audience is full of dopes”, adding “In other words, you have to be a complete dope or Al Sharpton to be bothered by the fact a sports announcer in 2017 has a name that sounds like that of a Confederate General in 1863.”

This interview by Tucker Carlson is spot on:

Tucker’s opening exchange of Tucker’s interview with Fox Sports’ Clay Travis say everything:

TUCKER CARLSON: There are reports tonight that ESPN has pulled a football announcer from an upcoming game because of his name, which is Robert Lee. The twist: Lee is an Asian man not exactly your vision of an unreconstructed confederate. Clay Travis is a journalist for Fox Sports and he joins us tonight. Clay, thanks a lot for coming on tonight. We saw this floating around the internet right before air time and my instinct was that this has to be a hoax because it’s too crazy so we wanted to talk with you directly. What do you know about this?
CLAY TRAVIS: It’s 100% true. And, in fact, ESPN has just issued a statement to me.

When you watch the video, watch Tucker’s eyebrows when Travis says “it’s 100% true.” My impression was that Tucker thought this story had to be something from The Onion, that it wasn’t a legitimate article.

Towards the end of the interview, Travis supplied a shocking tidbit of information when he said “Tucker, there’s always a lot of discussion about how liberal the political media is. Recent studies –you’re gonna be blown away by this — do you know what percentage of people in the sports media voted for Donald Trump in this most recent election? 4%, Tucker, 96% of them voted against Donald Trump. This is how decisions like this get made. You have all these left wing people sitting around saying ‘Ohmigod, I’m gonna offend somebody and you don’t have a reasonable, rational person saying ‘Wait a minute. Are we really making the right decision’?

Carlson finished the segment, saying “Clay, I was telling my producers we can’t air this because it can’t be real. I’m just grateful to you for confirming it — I’m serious — Thanks a lot for coming on.”

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “ESPN’s jump-the-shark moment?”

  • eric z says:

    Any Nathan or Bedford Forrests, Albert Pikes, or Jacksons? If there is a Jackson, perhaps he’s Stonewall? What about the FOX Sports Network? Purist worry there? Is there any Rachel Maddow in Confederate history

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, don’t you think it’s just a bit weird that ESPN is worried that its viewers can’t tell the difference between a Civil War general and a sportscaster? It seems to me that ESPN has a pretty low esteem for their viewers’ intelligence.

Leave a Reply