ESPN Exec on Robert Lee Controversy: ‘No Biggie Until Someone Leaked it to Embarrass Us and Him’

ESPN is now in full blown damage control mode over what would seem to be one of the more ridiculous self-made controversies in recent times — the decision to pull a broadcaster from a University of Virginia football game telecast because his name happens to be Robert Lee.

With cable news and social media reaction nearly universal in their criticism of ESPN, the Worldwide Leader is looking to calm the outcry from those on the left and the right over the decision.

In an email sent to Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali, an unnamed ESPN executive tried to downplay the controversy.

“This wasn’t about offending anyone,” the executive wrote. “It was about the reasonable possibility that because of his name, he would be subjected to memes and jokes and who knows what else.

“No biggie until someone leaked it to embarrass us and him,” the executive added. “They got their way.”

The executive insisted that the move wasn’t made with an eye towards political correctness.

“No politically correct efforts. No race issues. Just trying to be supportive of a guy who thought it best to avoid the potential zoo.”

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo