Infamous SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele has slammed ESPN and the network’s parent company, Walt Disney with a massive lawsuit alleging unfair treatment. The sports journalist claimed that her employer breached her contract after she made a few eyebrow-raising comments on a podcast back in September 2021.
By now, you’ve probably seen a few bits from Steele’s cringeworthy interview with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler, but if you haven’t, let’s just refresh your memory. During her appearance on “Uncut with Jay Cutler,” the outspoken sports anchor went on a tirade about ESPN’s “sick” vaccine mandate and questioned why former President Barack Obama wanted to identify as biracial instead of Black. Steele also argued that female sports journalist’s needed to be more aware of how they dressed in the industry if they wanted to avoid commentary from male colleagues.
Naturally, ESPN condemned Steele for the remarks, requiring the anchor to issue an apology, which she did. She was also suspended for over a week following the public backlash, but here are a few reasons why Steele’s lawsuit is stirring up controversy again for the sports star.
She claims ESPN failed to stop “bullying” from co-workers and that the company intentionally sidelined her
The 49-year-old broadcaster has made a number of allegations in her suit including one that alleges ESPN of sidelining her for big-time assignments in the aftermath of the controversy, according to Sports Illustrated. However, currently, she still hosts SportsCenter at noon and the Masters telecasts. Additionally, the sports journalist claimed that she was also bombarded with “bullying and harassment” during the embarrassing debacle and that ESPN did little to nothing to stop her colleagues from the mistreatment. She also alleged that the network unfairly enforced its 2017 rule that requires employees to keep a tight lip about political matters when it comes to sports. Steele strongly believes her case was “selective enforcement” of the protocol and that the network took her comments out of context.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time that Steele has landed herself in hot water. Let’s take a look at four other times Steele has made it into headlines for all the wrong reasons.
She Dissed Sports Journalist Jemele Hill
Sports journalist Jemele Hill was briefly suspended from ESPN in 2018 after she made a few comments rebuking Trump, for, well, being Trump.
In an interview with Refinery29, Steele claimed that Hill brought the unfortunate incident on herself, appearing to show no sympathy.
“I think Jemele is a completely different story in that she put that onto herself of her own volition. 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 added.
My oh my, how the tables turn, because, during the podcast scandal, Hill wasted no time serving the sportscaster with a little bit of her own medicine. In October 2021, Hill posted a clip from Steele’s awkward interview with Culter, tweeting:
“It’s worse when you hear it.”
She was angry with Trump protesters for disrupting her travel plans
I’m 2018, Steele had a bone to pick with a crowd of protesters who appeared to be rallying against Trump at LAX airport. Fuming with frustration, the TV personality took to Instagram to air out her grievances.
Steele criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling
Steele’s 2017 interview on The Dan Patrick Show is going viral again amid her explosive lawsuit with ESPN. On the show, she said she had no problem with the NFL’s decision to suspend Colin Kaepernick after he took a knee during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice in 2016.
“I disagree with the whole premise of the issue… Steve Bisciotti along with the other 31 owners in this league, they run a business. They have a right to make a decision that they feel is best for their business,” Steele argued.
“Just like Colin Kaepernick has the right to express his opinion and do what’s best for him, for his brand, for his career. There are repercussions to both.”
She welcomes comparisons to conservative pundit Candace Owens
The clip just speaks for itself on this one.