After making controversial statements concerning vaccination mandates, female sports writers, and former President Barack Obama’s racial identity, ESPN’s “SportsCenter” host Sage Steele has apologized.
Following statements made during a September 29 podcast episode of “Uncut With Jay Cutler,” Steele has been taken off the air.
Steele said in a statement to CNN: “I’m sorry if my recent statements caused any division within the firm. We are in the midst of a difficult period that affects us all, and it is more important than ever that we talk constructively and carefully.”
Steele made several comments while recording the podcast hosted by the former NFL quarterback that had many in the sports media scratching their heads. Steele said she supports an individual’s decision to obtain the Covid-19 vaccination, but “to force it is sick, and it’s worrisome to me,” when asked about ESPN’s workplace vaccine mandate.
She also discussed her identification as a mixed-race woman with Cutler, criticizing Obama’s decision to declare himself Black on the census.
You’ve undoubtedly heard a few clips from Steele’s embarrassing interview with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler by now, but just in case you haven’t, let us refresh your memory. The opinionated sports anchor went on a rant about ESPN’s “sick” vaccine mandate and questioned why former President Barack Obama preferred to identify as biracial rather than Black during her interview on “Uncut with Jay Cutler.” Steele also claimed that if female sports journalists wished to avoid male colleagues’ comments, they needed to be more aware of how they dressed in the industry.
Naturally, ESPN blasted Steele’s comments and demanded that she apologize, which she did. Following the public outcry, she was also suspended for more than a week, but there are a few reasons why Steele’s lawsuit is causing new trouble for the sports star.
She Claims that Espn Failed to Stop Coworker “bullying” and That the Firm Purposefully Ignored Her.
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According to Sports Illustrated, the 49-year-old broadcaster has made a number of complaints in her lawsuit, including one that alleges ESPN of excluding her from major jobs in the aftermath of the issue. She does, however, continue to host SportsCenter at midday and the Master’s telecasts. Moreover, the sports writer said that she was subjected to “bullying and harassment” throughout the humiliating incident, and that ESPN did nothing to protect her coworkers from the abuse. She also claimed that the network unfairly enforced a 2017 guideline requiring employees to keep a low profile while discussing politics in sports. Steele is convinced that the rule was “selectively enforced” in her situation and that the network misinterpreted her comments.
Steele has gotten herself into a lot of trouble in the past, and this isn’t the first time. Let’s take a look at four additional occasions where Steele has made the news for all the wrong reasons.
Jemele Hill, a Sports Journalist, Was Slammed by Her.
Jemele Hill, a sports writer, was briefly suspended from ESPN in 2018 after making a few remarks criticizing Trump for, well, being Trump.
Steele alleged in an interview with Refinery29 that Hill brought the tragic incident upon herself and showed no sympathy.
“I believe Jemele is an entirely different story in that she chose to put it on herself.” And I’ll say this: it’s not that I don’t support Jemele; it’s just that I try to follow the rules,” she continued.
How the tables have turned, because, during the podcast fiasco, Hill lost no time in dishing out some of her own medication to the sportscaster. Hill tweeted a clip from Steele’s unpleasant conversation with Culter in October 2021, writing