Sage Steele Controversy: The Decision Was Made in Response to The Contentious Words Made by The Anchor of ‘sports Center’

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Sage Marie Steele (born November 28, 1972) is an American sportscaster and co-host of ESPN’s SportsCenter at 12 p.m. (ET). She also presents SportsCenter on the Road, which broadcasts athletic events including the Super Bowl and the Masters. Steele presented NBA Countdown for four seasons on ESPN and ABC, concluding in 2017.

Steele was a full-time host of SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship show, for five years prior to the NBA assignment, and had previously contributed to ESPN First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning, and SportsNation. In 2012 and 2013, Steele hosted SportsCenter’s daytime coverage of the NBA Finals, and he has covered every NBA Finals from 2012 to 2020.

A Career in Broadcasting

Steele’s first television sports reporting job was as a news producer and reporter at WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, from 1995 to 1997.

Sage Marie Steele then served as a weekend morning sports anchor and weekday reporter for CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1997 to 1998. The Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis 500, and Brickyard 400 auto races, as well as local college and high school sports, were all part of her reporting duties.

sage steele controversy

Steele worked as a sports reporter with former WFTS sports director and former SportsCenter host Jay Crawford and current “NFL RedZone” host Scott Hanson at ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Florida, from 1998 to 2001. She also worked as a reporter for Fox Sports Florida, covering teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning, and University of South Florida Bulls around Central Florida.

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According to a Tuesday report from Front Office Sports, Sage Steele has been taken off the air at ESPN for a week. Steele, who hosts the midday portion of “SportsCenter” and was a former host of “NBA Countdown,” has been taken off the air, according to FSO, partly due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, but more so due to inflammatory comments, she made off-platform on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast on Sunday.

Steele received backlash after making several comments on Cutler’s podcast, including calling Disney’s vaccine mandate “sick” and “scary,” expressing surprise that former President Barack Obama identified as Black, and suggesting that women in sports journalism face potential harassment depending on what they wear.

sage steele controversy

ESPN, which is owned by Disney, refuses to say if Steele’s removal from the air was due to internal disciplinary or suspension when asked by FSO. However, as a result of the judgment, the corporation issued the following statement:

“At ESPN, we value diversity of thought – communication and debate are what make this place great,” the statement continued. “However, we expect those points of view to be expressed politely, in accordance with our values, and in accordance with our internal regulations.” We’re having direct communications with Sage, which will remain confidential.”

Steele also issued the following statement via ESPN:

“I regret causing controversy for the company with my recent comments. “We are in the midst of a particularly difficult period that affects all of us, and it is more important than ever that we communicate constructively and carefully,” Steele said in a statement.

The following are Steele’s thoughts on Disney’s immunization requirement. She later stated that she was vaccinated and that the nurse who delivered the vaccine confused her for Candace Owens, a conservative author, and commentator, and that she may have been purposefully hurt.

Below are the comments Steele made on Disney’s vaccine mandate

Steele also sparked debate when she suggested Obama’s identification as a Black man was “fascinating.” She considers herself multiracial (half-African, half-Irish/Italian).

“‘Well, congratulations to the president,’ I say. That’s how he rolls.’ I find that fascinating, especially because his Black father was never identified and he was reared by his white mother and grandmother, but hey, you do you. Steele declared, “I’m going to do me.”

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Steele also stated that she would not mentor young women in sports journalism based on their clothing choices.

“I’m not saying you deserve the rude comments when you dress like that,” Steele added, “but you know what you’re doing when you put that costume on.” “Like, women are intelligent, so don’t be coy and blame everything on the guys.”

Steele is also set to forgo her role as host of the espnW: Women + Sports Summit from October 18-20, according to FSO. This isn’t the first time Steele, who has worked at ESPN for 14 years, has said something controversial. She was chastised for her Instagram post in 2017 in which she expressed her dissatisfaction with her flight arrangements as a result of airport protests in response to Donald Trump’s travel curbs. In 2017, she also argued that people who watch ESPN want to hear about sports and that the network should focus on sports rather than the Charlottesville violence.

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