After comments made by Sage Steele, a ESPN reporter, she will not be on-air after making remarks about former President Barack Obama’s COVID vaccination mandate.
NPR reports today:
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 commented last week on the podcast Jay Cutler’s Uncut, and her removal from the air was reported by Front Office Sports.
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In a statement, the network said: “At ESPN, we embrace different points of view – dialogue and discussion makes this place great. However, the network stated that it expects those views to be respectfully expressed, within our core values and our internal policies. We are having direct conversations with Sage and those conversations will remain private.”
ESPN also posted a statement by 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 was a week old when it was recorded on the podcast told CutlerAfter being ordered by Disney (owner of ESPN), she was required to get her COVID-19 vaccination.
“I respect everyone’s decision. Yes, I 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.”