ESPN Prez Defends Idiotic Decision To Create A National Controversy That Never Existed
ESPN President John Skipper should probably lookup the meaning of “primum non nocere.” Medical school students all across the country are taught this Latin phrase, meaning “first, do no harm,” on their first day of classes as a reminder that, given any problem, their first priority should be to simply not make it worse than it already is.
Unfortunately, Skipper doesn’t seem to subscribe to this theory because if he did he would realize that sometimes the best way to address a controversy that never should have happened is simply to keep your mouth shut and ‘do no further harm.’ Alas, Skipper’s clearly not a doctor and thus we’re all stuck having to read another statement from ESPN attempted to explain why they made a truly moronic decision.
Here’s the new statement in which ESPN now makes it seem as if it wasn’t actually their decision to pull Robert Lee off the air in Virginia, but rather Lee’s decision intended to avoid “social media hectoring and trolling”….
“Given the amount of media attention being generated by on of the countless, routine decisions our local production teams make every day, I wanted to make sure you have the facts. There was never any concern – by anyone, at any level – that Robert Lee’s name would offend anyone watching the Charlottesville game.
Among our Charlotte production staff there was a question as to whether – in these divisive times — Robert’s assignment might create a distraction, or even worse, expose him to social media hectoring and trolling. Since Robert was their primary concern, they consulted with him directly. He expressed some personal trepidation about the assignment and, when offered the chance to do the Youngstown State / Pitt game instead, opted for that game — in part because he lives in Albany and would be able to get home to his family on Saturday evening.
I’m disappointed that the good intentions of our Charlotte colleagues have been intentionally hijacked by someone with a personal agenda, and sincerely appreciate Robert’s personal input and professionalism throughout this episode.”
New: internal memo from ESPN prez John Skipper about the Robert Lee decision pic.twitter.com/3yFk4hbDRb
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 24, 2017
…because this path worked out really well for avoiding “social media hectoring and trolling.”
— John Davis (@TheFoundingSon) August 23, 2017
Of course, Skipper’s new statement, which makes it seems as if the decision was all Lee’s idea, somewhat contradicts ESPN’s original statement that said it just “felt right to all parties.”
“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.”
Skipper, do us all a favor and read the first sentence of this post again…
* * *
For those who managed to ignore this story line so far, below is our post from yesterday.
We’ve been saying this a lot lately, but just when you thought the political climate in this country couldn’t get any more wacky ESPN has to go and pull an Asian-American announcer, who just happens to be named Robert Lee, off the William and Mary vs. University of Virginia college football game because of concerns they might create a mass-triggering of America’s snowflakes.
Is this even real life anymore? So the fragile millennial culture now demands that you should be thrown in jail if you call them by the wrong pronoun but it’s totally fine if their insecurities literally derail a person’s career because they refuse to be ‘assaulted’ by the name his parents happened to give him?
Outkick the Coverage broke the story last night with this summary:
In a story that seems made for The Onion, but is actually true, according to multiple Outkick fans inside ESPN MSESPN decided to pull an Asian college football announcer named Robert Lee off the William and Mary at University of Virginia college football game because they were concerned that having an ASIAN FOOTBALL ANNOUNCER NAMED ROBERT LEE would be offensive to some viewers.
Did I mention that Robert Lee is Asian?
Is this even real life anymore? This might even be worse than MSESPN apologizing for the fantasy football slave draft a couple of weeks ago.
To avoid offending left wing idiots Robert Lee, the Asian college football announcer, not the Confederate General who died in 1870 and shares a name with him, was switched to the Youngstown State at Pittsburgh game and Dave Weekley will now call the William and Mary at University of Virginia game.
Meanwhile, ESPN issued the following statement:
“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.”
Not surprisingly, ESPN has been mercilessly mocked on social media for their truly moronic decision as #RobertLee quickly shot to the top of Twitter’s trending board.
1. Punishing an Asian-American for his last name out of fear of racism.#RobertLee
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 23, 2017
— Joni (@jonifabulous) August 23, 2017
Of course, ESPN may be a little sensitive to race issues after being blasted all last week for hosting a fantasy football auction that many people likened to a slave auction…