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ESPN president doubles down, defends reassigning Robert Lee

 (AP Photo/Ryan M. Kelly, File)

ESPN President John Skipper defended the reassignment of commentator Robert Lee following a media uproar.

“There was a question as to whether – in these divisive times — Robert’s assignment might create a distraction, or even worse, expose him to social hectoring and trolling,” he said in a statement Wednesday night. “He expressed some personal trepidation about the assignment and, when offered the chance to do the Youngstown State/Pitt game instead, opted for that game — in part because he lives in Albany and would be able to get home to his family on Saturday evening.”

On Tuesday, the sports network announced it was reassigning Asian-American commentator Lee from the University of Virginia game to the Youngstown State game at Pittsburgh.

Skipper also said there “was never any concern — by anyone, at any level — that Robert Lee’s name would offend anyone watching the Charlottesville game.”

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