One-half of ESPN’s 12 p.m. (ET) SportsCenter team, Sage Marie Steele, is an American journalist and TV personality. As well as hosting SportsCenter from major athletic events like the Super Bowl and the Masters, she also serves as a host for SportsCenter on the Road. Previously, Steele presented NBA Countdown for four seasons on ESPN and ABC, which ended in 2017.
With SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program, and Mike & Mike in the Morning before that, Steele had worked for the network for five years before taking on the NBA job. SportsCenter’s coverage of the NBA Finals during the day in 2012 and 2013 was hosted by Steele, who also covered every final from 2012 until 2020.
Why was Sage Steele terminated so abruptly?
An ESPN podcast appearance by Sage Steele sparked controversy, with the host calling the company’s coronavirus vaccine mandate “sick” and saying that former President Obama’s self-identification as Black was “fascinating” because “his Black dad was nowhere to be found.” Steele has since been removed from ESPN programming for a week.
It was reported on Tuesday by Front Office Sports and the Philadelphia Inquirer that Steele would miss a week of her normal “SportsCenter” noontime slot and that she will no longer lead the “espnW: Women + Sports Summit” in 2021, which will take place from October 18 to 20, respectively.
One of the best things about working at ESPN is how open the company is to new ideas and viewpoints. However, we do ask that all viewpoints be presented in a civil and polite way, keeping with our company’s values and internal regulations.
While hosting ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” Sage Steele made contentious remarks concerning vaccination requirements, female sportswriters, and the racial identity of former President Barack Obama.
As a result of remarks he made on the “Uncut With Jay Cutler” podcast on September 29th, Steele has been taken off the air.
Steele stated the following in a statement to CNN: “I’m sorry if my recent remarks caused any offense to your firm, and I take full responsibility for that. In the face of an exceedingly difficult period, it is more important than ever that we speak constructively and carefully, and this is especially true now.”
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Steele made a number of inexplicable statements while taping a podcast hosted by the former NFL quarterback.
Steele noted that although she respects an individual’s option to obtain the Covid-19 vaccination, “to require it is sick, and it’s worrisome to me” while discussing ESPN’s corporate vaccine mandate.
As a mixed-race lady, she talked to Cutler about her thoughts on President Obama’s choice to identify as Black on the census.
“My first reaction is one of congratulation for our new leader. That’s what he’s good at. The fact that he was reared by his White mother and grandmother, despite the fact that his Black father was never located, is intriguing to me. This is what I’ll do: “Steele made the statement.
When it comes to sexual harassment in the media, Steele says that women must “be responsible” and that it “isn’t only on players and athletes and coaches to behave a particular way. ”
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“During conversations with young ladies, they’ve asked me if I’d listen to their CD or if I’d do anything for them. I’ve always answered yes. To be clear: your appearance is not something I like to identify with, although “Cutler nodded as she confirmed this with him.
When you put on an outfit like that, “I’m not implying that you deserve the disgusting remarks, but you know what you’re doing when you put it on as well.”
Ex-ESPN presenter Cari Champion claimed many young brown women in the sports world, including her daughter, looked up to Steele in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on New Day Wednesday. She stated it was upsetting to hear her disparage African-Americans and disparage women.
There were so many cruel things indicated by (Steele’s statements),” said Champion, a former coworker who had worked with Steele. “And it also demonstrates a lack of understanding on her side,” says the professor.
In response to a question regarding her remarks on female sports reporters, Champion stated such a mindset simply pushes women “further down” in a male-dominated industry like sports broadcasting.
She believes she has seized the moral high ground when in reality all she has done is isolate herself from other women in an industry that already divides us, said Champion. “We can’t get along because we’re always comparing ourselves to one another. And it’s a real letdown.”
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According to an ESPN representative, the network is in private conversations with Steele.
“At ESPN, we encourage a wide range of viewpoints because we believe that open conversation is the best way to learn and grow. But we want such views to be conveyed politely, in accordance with our values, and in accordance with our internal regulations; “They said so, according to them. “We are speaking with Sage directly, and those talks will remain confidential,” says the spokesperson.
It’s been a little over a month since the New York Times reported on statements Rachel Nichols made about fellow NBA analyst, Maria Taylor in a private discussion in 2020, which resulted in her departure from the network’s coverage of the NBA.
Taylor, who is African-American, was picked to anchor the NBA Finals coverage because of the network’s diversity initiatives, according to a Times story.
The next day, Nichols apologized on the air.