Within hours of ESPN’s announcement, their Robert Lee was trending on Twitter. Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen weighed in. “If this isn’t the same Lee that led the Confederate Army,” he tweeted, “ESPN needs to reverse this idiocy.”
Lee is Asian-American. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has extensive experience in both business and broadcasting. He graduated Syracuse University in 1999 with a B.S. in broadcast journalism. His most recent location is Albany. He speaks Mandarin. He describes himself as a “team player . . . who meshes well with coworkers, customers and clients.”
This is hardly the stuff of controversy. The network’s overreaction only reminds us of its sad downward spiral: the bloodbath of over 100 employees fired in April; the flight of 10 million subscribers since 2011; the belief among liberal viewers that ESPN panders to conservatives and the belief among conservatives that ESPN is too liberal.