The writing has been on the wall for a long time, but many of us have only recently begun to read it after Sage Steele betrayed her true self in the latest instance of the longtime ESPN anchor expressing her own apparent deep-seated feelings of self-hatred.
So deep, in fact, that some may even choose to refer to her as sunken, an off-hand reference to the “sunken place” theme from the movie “Get Out” in which Black people are unwittingly mentally and physically controlled by white people to uphold anti-Black ideals.
The major difference here is that Steele seems to be completely in control of her own thoughts and words, like when she suggested during a live conversation streaming online that former President Barack Obama was not actually Black because “his Black dad was nowhere to be found” and “his white mom and grandma raised him.”
Sadly, efforts like that to erase Blackness are nothing new for Steele, who has a real history of championing causes that hurt the plight of Black people.
And so it follows: Here are all the receipts proving that Sage Steele is just as sunken as we thought she was.
She welcomes comparisons to Candace Owens
During the same interview where she disrespected the first Black president, Steele welcomed a comparison to Candace Owens, the same person who has sympathized with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and blamed Ahmud Arbery for his own murder.
“I respect the hell out of Candace Owens,” Steele said on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast. “Because whether you agree or not she doesn’t give a crap what you think, and she’s going to say what’s on her mind.”
Steele added: “Isn’t it funny though that people have to make those comparisons because we happen to have a similar skin color? That cracks me up.”
Sage Steele reveals herself as an anti-vaxxer
Steele slammed her employer’s vaccine mandate, a hallmark of right-wing conservatives who have downplayed the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30th to get it done or I’m out,” Steele told Cutler while suggesting she reluctantly got vaccinated in order to keep her job. “I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it’s scary to me in many ways.”
Black ESPN co-workers distance themselves from Sage Steele
Steele was reportedly incensed that ESPN allegedly excluded her from the company’s special programming that addressed the topic of race last summer. But two of Steele’s fellow anchors at ESPN said their co-worker “wouldn’t be accepted by what they considered the Black community,” according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
Steele, in turn, released a statement saying her own Black experience should ber included in the network’s conversation. But in doing so, she contradicted her own ill-informed views on race that she expressed about Obama.
“I found it sad for all of us that any human being should be allowed to define someone’s ‘Blackness,’” Steele had the audacity to say. “Growing up biracial in America with a Black father and a white mother, I have felt the inequities that many, if not all Black and biracial people have felt—being called a monkey, the ‘n’ word, having ape sounds made as I walked by—words and actions that all of us know sting forever. Most importantly, trying to define who is and isn’t Black enough goes against everything we are fighting for in this country, and only creates more of a divide.”
While what she said has some serious legitimacy, Steele’s recent comments about Obama show that even she doesn’t believe her own words.
Sage Steele was angry people were protesting Trump
In 2017, there was a major social media backlash after Steele publicly complained that a protest against Trump at Los Angeles’ airport had inconvenienced her travel plans. The protest followed an executive order from Trump on immigration that led to mass confusion at airports around the country. “Yes, immigrants were affected by this as well,” Steele wrote in an apparent snarky part of an Instagram post showing a photo of the protest.
Sage Steele criticizes NFL kneeling protest of Trump’s election
In late 2016, Steele publicly criticized Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans’ decision to kneel at the start of the national anthem to protest Donald Trump‘s election victory.
“Hey @MikeEvans13_ look up definition of the word DEMOCRACY & remember this pic while kneeling/exercising your right to protest #perspective,” she wrote in a tweet that was accompanied by a photo of a White man kneeing in a graveyard of soldiers.
She then published a diatribe on Facebook about diversity. It was one of the many instances where Steele appeared to be laser-focused on blaming her fellow Black people for being racist.
“Instead of praising or uplifting each other, way too many people of color choose to tear down, mock and spew hatred at other blacks who feel differently, think differently, or make decisions that are different from theirs,” she wrote in part. “That, my friends, is hypocrisy at its best. Or should I say, its hypocrisy at its worst.”
Sage Steele rejects anti-Trump rhetoric
That same year, Steele was blamed for cutting short a post-game interview with an athlete whose commentary turned political with talking points addressing issues that Trump’s critics have said he falls short on.
Said white people have been the least racist to her
In 2017, Steele said during a panel discussion that Black people have been more racist to her than white folks have.
Yes, really. Read fopr yourself:
“There are times that I believe that we, as African Americans, can be hypocritical, and that is to not look ourselves in the mirror when we are saying certain things and blaming other groups for one thing when we are doing the exact same thing,” she said in part before continuing later. “The worst racism that I have received [as a biracial woman married to a white man], and I mean thousands and thousands over the years, is from Black people, who in my mind thought would be the most accepting because there has been that experience. … But even as recent[ly] as the last couple of weeks, the words that I have had thrown at me I can’t repeat here, and it’s 99 percent from people with my skin color. But if a white person said those words to me, what would happen? … How do we, [with Christianity] as our foundation, address this honestly with each other and these communities? Because to me, if we don’t start with ourselves in any issue, how can you point the fingers at somebody else?”
Steele defended Trump against Jemele Hill
In yet another display of her apparent loyalty to the 45th president, Steele issued a strong critique of her then-fellow ESPN peer, Jemele Hill, over her public rebuke of Trump on Twitter as a “white supremacist.” ESPN suspended Hill as a result, prompting Steele to chime in and say she did it to herself.
Let UFC fighter touch her hair to make sure it’s ‘real’
Last, but cerytainly not least, Steele’s true colors were on full display in 2013 when she allowed UFC fighter Chael Sonnen touch her hair to make sure it was “real.” In this instance, Sonnen completely ignored Steele’s relevant line of questioning to abruptly change the subject: “Can I touch your hair? Can I feel?”
Steele obliged the request and leaned toward Sonnen, who ultimately looks at the TV to give his seal of white approval: “That’s real hair, folks, and it’s very soft.” The implication was, of course, that Black women do not have “real” or “soft” hair, racist notions on which Steele famously failed to push back.
To be sure, our sister site, Hello Beautiful, neatly summed up all the things Black women can politely say to white people who ask to touch their hair. Notably, sitting there and saying nothing — like Steele did — is not on the list.
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