The Popcorn Stand: ESPN is just plain ridiculous |

The Popcorn Stand: ESPN is just plain ridiculous

Those who choose to read this Popcorn Stand know I love to take tongue in cheek cheap shots at ESPN. This old fuddy, duddy hasn’t cared for the “ESPNization” of sports coverage over the years in which the coverage has basically become about those who cover the games and not the games they actually cover.

But while I have ridiculed ESPN over the years, it’s latest action has made it an easy target for ridicule on social media. The network has reassigned an Asian-American announcer Robert Lee from its broadcast of a Virginia football game on Sept. 2 in Charlottesville, Va.

Full disclosure. I’m no fan of the Confederacy and it bothers me when it’s celebrated. I know there are those who disagree with me and I respect their view — just like I hope they respect mine.

And I know we all want to be sensitive to the recent events that happened in Charlottesville, but c’mon man (couldn’t resist using one of ESPN’s stupid sayings), pulling an announcer from a game in Charlottesville because his name is Robert Lee — that’s just plain ridiculous.

True, ESPN is running from its own shadow because of a recent airing of a stupid and distasteful fantasy football segment in which white buyers purchased black football players from an auctioneer. The show was about as insensitive as it gets.

But in no way is an announcer who just happens to be named Robert Lee announcing a football game that just happens to be in Charlottesville, Va., being insensitive. Nor is flying the Confederate Flag among the six flags that fly over Six Flags amusement parks being insensitive, either.

That company recently decided to replace its six flags of entities that were the ruling bodies of Texas with six American flags, which kind of defeats the purpose of why the company is called Six Flags in the first place.

Celebrate or don’t celebrate the Confederacy — that’s a debate we need to have. But don’t be ridiculous about it. Like ESPN.

— Charles Whisnand