BRISTOL, Conn — The former voice of the Siena College men’s basketball team and frequent Time Warner Cable Sports broadcaster Robert Lee has been pulled from ESPN’s coverage of Virginia’s season opener because of recent violence in Charlottesville sparked by the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee
Lee, who is Asian, has been reassigned to work the Youngstown State-Pittsburgh game on Sept. 2, while fellow ESPN 3 broadcaster Dave Weekley remains on the Virginia-William and Mary game.
The Syracuse University graduate occasionally went by the nickname of “The General,” while broadcasting Siena games on Talk 1200 AM.
An ESPN spokesperson told SI.com that Lee’s reassignment was not mandated, but that the announcer felt more comfortable not covering the UVa game.
“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,” said ESPN in a statement. “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.”
Lee left his full-time Siena broadcast duties in 2016 to work for ESPN. He continues to call occasional games for Spectrum Sports, Formally Time Warner Cable Sports.