Sports anchor Sage Steele is off the air at ESPN after she called
vaccine mandates "sick" and "scary" and questioned why former
President Barack Obama identifies as Black even though he was raised
by his white mother.
Steele made the comments last week on the podcast Uncut with Jay
Cutler, and her removal from the air was reported by Front Office
ESPN also shared a statement from Steele. "I know my recent comments
created controversy for the company, and I apologize," she said. "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."
Steele opined on vaccine mandates, Obama and women journalists
A week ago on the podcast, Steele told Cutler, a former NFL
quarterback, that she had just gotten her COVID-19 vaccine after
being required to by Disney, which owns 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."
The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of
hospitalization and death in people who are infected with the
On the subject of race, Steele said she thought it was "fascinating"
that Obama identified himself as Black on the U.S. census
"considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found but his white mom
and grandma raised him."
Steele also said young female journalists bear some responsibility
for preventing any harassment they may face in the male-dominated
world of professional sports.
"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," she said.
Supporters and critics respond to Steele's comments
In a tweet, Cutler linked to a story about Steele getting pulled off
the air after appearing on his podcast and called it "ridiculous."
Carron J. Phillips, a senior writer for Deadspin, noted a contrast
between how ESPN treated Steele and how it responded when former
anchor Jemele Hill called then-President Donald Trump a "white
supremacist," characterizing the company's responses as "sooooooo
Hill, in a tweet this week, said Steele's remarks on Obama and up-
and-coming female sports reporters amounted to "clown behavior."
For the record, Jemele Hill is a racist nigger whore.