Tales of the Absurd in this Mad, Mad World

ESPN announcer removed from UVA football game because of name

ESPN announcer removed from University of Virginia football game because of name

See Matthew Haagaug, “ESPN Pulls Announcer Robert Lee From Virginia Game Because of His Name,” New York Times, August 23, 2017.

ESPN has removed an announcer from its broadcast of the University of Virginia’s first football game next month because he has the same name as a Confederate general memorialized in statues that are being taken down across the country.

The network announced late Tuesday that the announcer, Robert Lee, a part-time employee who calls about a dozen college football and basketball games a year for ESPN, would no longer participate in the broadcast of the Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville, Va., which became the center of violent clashes this month during a white supremacist gathering.

White nationalists and neo-Nazis flooded into Charlottesville, marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches, to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee.

After the violence in Charlottesville, which left one person dead, ESPN executives and Mr. Lee decided that for his safety it would be best to have him to work on a different game that Saturday, a network spokesman said.

Please note that the announcer’s name is Robert Lee, not “Robert E. Lee”.

In caving in to fears of violence generated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, ESPN apparently did not consider the other alternatives of providing Robert Lee with adequate security, monitoring threats, if any, or the impact of their decision on extremists groups.

This seems like a win for the racist extremists, demonstrating the power they have in threatening violence, in this absurd world.


Police Reportedly Kill Man to Prevent His Suicide

“Our goal was to try to get in there and provide assistance to what we believed was a life-endangering situation,” Lopez said. “He was, from what we gathered, attempting suicide.”

San Jose police have apparently stopped a man from committing suicide by killing him.

The San Jose Mercury News reported as follows:

San Jose police shot and killed a 42-year-old man who police said was wielding a 10-inch knife in an apartment building in South San Jose on Sunday morning.

Police were responding to a 9:16 a.m. call from the man’s estranged wife, who reported that he had shot himself with a nail gun, said Sgt. Ronnie Lopez. After making numerous attempts for 30 to 45 minutes to talk to the man but getting no response at the door, officers forced their way into his apartment in the 5000 block of Wong Court.

They found the man holding a knife, with a nail gun nearby.

When asked whether the man was moving toward the officers and was a threat to their safety, Lopez described him as “armed and confrontational.” Three officers fired approximately six shots at the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our goal was to try to get in there and provide assistance to what we believed was a life-endangering situation,” Lopez said. “He was, from what we gathered, attempting suicide.”

–Mike Swift and Sharon Noguchi, “San Jose police kill 42-year-old man wielding knife,” San Jose Mercury News, August 30, 2010 (print edition)

The victim’s estranged wife was not at the scene, and there was no allegation of domestic dispute or threat to her. Neighbors said the man was a butcher.

Whether the police were legally justified in putting six bullets into the potential suicide victim is under investigation. “We just have to meticulously go through this,” Lopez said.

–Contributed by Absurdo

e-mail: absurdo@absurdarama.com