ESPN’s Sage Steele hosts the CoachArt Gala Of Champions at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Oct. 16, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California. (Joshua Blanchard / Getty Images for CoachArt)
By Grant Atkinson October 5, 2021 at 5:06pm
ESPN has suspended a female show personality after she expressed political opinions the network did not agree with. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
In the latest episode of cancel culture at ESPN, 15-year-veteran Sage Steele has been suspended for recent comments regarding former President Barack Obama, vaccine mandates and certain behaviors of female sports reporters.
According to The Washington Post, Steele appeared on the “Uncut” podcast, which is hosted by former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, last Wednesday.
In her first comments on a controversial issue, Steele addressed female reporters who claim to be mistreated by various men in the sports industry.
While she admitted some players would offer to take her to dinner or things of that nature early in her career, she said she did not take it to heart. She then explained her disappointment with the way some female sports reporters have presented themselves.
“I do think as women, we need to be responsible as well,” she said. “It isn’t just on players and athletes and coaches to act a certain way.
“I mean, I’ve had talks with young women who would come in and they’d intern with me, with our channel, or just other women who reach out to me now,” Steele continued.
“And I’ve said to a couple of them — they’re like, ‘Would you look at my tape, would you do this?” and I’ve said, ‘Listen. I would love to, but the way that you present yourself is not something I want to be associated with. So when you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you’re putting that outfit on, too.”
Sage Steele believes women “need to be responsible as well” for inappropriate comments directed at them.
Sage tells young women, “when you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you put that outfit on too.” pic.twitter.com/6CrxOoXILN
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) October 4, 2021
As Steele made clear, she was not saying women deserve to be mistreated or objectified under any circumstances. Rather, she was suggesting that just as men should be responsible for their words and actions, women should be responsible for their own words and actions — including their choice of clothing.
Of course, this line of thinking does not usually fly with leftists like the ones who work at ESPN. They operate under the mistaken belief that women who choose to sexualize themselves with suggestive clothing are somehow makings strides for “empowerment.”
Next, Steele touched on her life as a biracial woman. She told the story of Barbara Walters questioning her during an appearance on “The View” for how Steele presented her racial background.
“She’s like, ‘Well, what happens when you fill out your census … if they make you choose a race,’ she’s like, ‘What are you going to put?’ And I go, ‘Well, both.’ And she’s like, ‘Well you can’t … [former President] Barack Obama chose black and he’s biracial.’
“I’m like, ‘Well congratulations to the president, that’s his thing. I think that’s fascinating considering his black dad was nowhere to be found, but his white mom and grandma raised him. But okay, you do you, I’m gonna do me,’” Steele said.
“And then they put up a picture behind me of my parents and my brothers and me, and I’m like, ‘Listen, I’m pretty sure my white mom was there when I was born … my white family loves me as much as my black family.’ And I got killed for that.”
Steele was clearly saying that as a biracial woman, she does not buy into the left’s anti-white narrative. She loves both her white family and her black family, and her shot at Obama was meant to convey the hypocrisy he displays by demonizing white people despite being raised by two of them.
Once again, leftists like former ESPN employee Jemele Hill chose to misinterpret her comments to mean that Obama should not identify as black, which is not at all what she was saying.
So on top of thinking former President Obama shouldn’t identify as black because he didn’t have a relationship with his black father, Sage Steele also thinks female journalists who dress a certain way “know what you’re doing when you’re putting that outfit on.”
Clown behavior. pic.twitter.com/edgTVopQqg
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 3, 2021
Finally, Steele discussed the recent vaccine mandate for all Disney employees, including those who work at ESPN.
“I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick, and it’s scary to me in many ways,” she said. “But I have a job, a job that I love and frankly a job that I need.”
That did not fly with leftists either, because they are unable to admit the fact that mandating a vaccine as a condition of employment is grossly inappropriate. “Sick” and “scary” are actually milder than many words that could be used to describe such actions.
Despite the fact that Steele’s comments on these three issues were in some cases objectively true and others, well-substantiated opinions, ESPN took issue with them.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the network suspended Steele on Tuesday for at least a week. She also lost hosting duties for the espnW: Women + Sports Summit, which is set to take place later this month.
Does ESPN really embrace differing opinions?
In an attempt to cover its bases, ESPN issued a statement ensuring viewers it encouraged differing opinions at its company.
“At ESPN, we embrace different points of view — dialogue and discussion makes this place great,” they said according to Yahoo. “That said, we expect that those points of view be expressed respectfully, in a manner consistent with our values, and in line with our internal policies.”
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) October 5, 2021
This is simply a lie. Steele is being lambasted as a direct result of her conservative opinions, not the manner in which she expressed them. It’s obvious to anyone who has followed ESPN for more than five minutes during the last few years.
The network did the same thing to former employee Rachel Nichols last month when she called ESPN out in a private conversation for allegedly hiring and promoting people based on skin color instead of merit.
At this point, it’s clear the network doesn’t just fail to embrace “different points of view” — it actively rejects them.
“I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize,” Steele said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it’s more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully.”
She did not directly apologize for what she said, and she was right not to do so. Just because ESPN does not agree with her opinions does not mean she should be barred from expressing them.
It remains to be seen whether Steele’s suspension will extend longer than a week, or if it will turn into an expulsion. ESPN has not fully “canceled” her yet as far as employment goes, but its message of disapproval is crystal clear.