Which is ironic in its way, because this decision is as apolitical as decisions get . ESPN is not liberal, and it’s not conservative; it’s a massive company with no political beliefs beyond damage control. Someone had the idea of switching Lee off the UVa game not because they thought it would be offensive, but because of the prospect of some hypothetical viewer being offended by seeing an Asian-American broadcaster with a hyper-common name similar to that of the Confederate general. Whether this hypothetical viewer exists or not (they don’t) is almost beside the point; true corporate cowardice requires a bland, compulsive aversion to controversy so strong that it loses touch with reality. And as so often happens, the blowback winds up being much, much worse than the nonexistent scenario ESPN hoped to avoid.
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