Sage Steele recently issued a strong critique of her fellow ESPN peer, Jemele Hill, adding one more example to her pattern of antagonizing Black folks. Apparently the SportsCenter: AM anchor took offense to Hill’s rebuke of Trump that led to her brief suspension from the network last year.
“I think Jemele is a completely different story in that she put that onto herself of her own volition,” Steele said in a Refinery29 profile published Tuesday.
Steele believes that Hill should draw no comparisons to Sam Ponder, host of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown who decried ESPN’s short-lived partnership with Barstool Sports due to sexist comments made about her on the site. “I think that’s an important distinction [between Hill and Ponder,”] Steele explained, claiming that Ponder was “attacked” on social media and did not bring criticisms upon herself, unlike Hill.
Steele tried to cushion the blow against Hill to Refinery 29. “And I will say this, it’s not a lack of supporting Jemele, it’s simply, I just try to abide by the rules,” she said.
The ESPN anchor comes off as a critic of Hill, another Black woman facing an inequality that is reinforced by White hegemony. But why reprimand Hill when the battle is really against those who seek to erase the progress of Black women?
The African-American community knows there is strength in numbers, a concept that seems rather foreign to Steele, who has a questionable public history. She touts respectability politics and Black responsibility, joining with Stacey Dash in shaming folks for protesting the police killings of people of color, The Daily Beast reported. She mocked a protest against Trump for throwing a wrench in her travel plans. She also rebuked African Americans with claims of intra-racism.
Yet, Steele ranted that folks have come for her mercilessly. “When I was going through my social media attacks, I felt really, really, really alone in every single way,” Steele told R29. “It’s hard when you’re being attacked and no one publicly will support you.”
If one wants support, then one must support their peers. Folks are unhappy with Steele’ latest critique and are expressing themselves on Twitter.