Sage Steele rips ESPN’s ‘hypocrisy’ regarding allowance of political opinions during interview with Megyn Kelly
- The longtime host spent 16 years with ESPN and announced the split this week
- Steele was visibly emotional while discussing her exit from the Bristol company
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Sage Steele has emotionally discussed the internal turmoil she endured while at the four-letter network after expressing views in direct contravention with its ethos.
Steele announced Wednesday she had settled her case with Disney/ESPN and was moving on after 16 years at the Bristol conglomerate.
The former SportsCenter host sued the network in April of 2022 after claiming that ESPN violated her First Amendment rights and Connecticut free-speech laws by suspending her over comments about former President Barack Obama and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Steele refused to take the jab and has consistently held views which wildly oppose that of a largely vocal, hyper-liberal staff including Malika Andrews, Elle Duncan and Sarah Spain, among others.
In her first public interview since acquiring her professional freedom, Steele was visibly emotional discussing the four-letter network and her experiences with Megyn Kelly on SiriusXM.
Megyn Kelly was joined by Stage Steele for an emotional first interview after leaving ESPN
Sage Steele has liberated herself from the Bristol conglomerate after 16 years on Wednesday
STEELE’S 2021 COMMENTS
While being interviewed on former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s podcast, ESPN’s Sage Steele made several controversial statements that she says resulted in her being suspended by the network.
- Steele on ESPN’s COVID-19 mandate: ‘Well, I got my shot today… I just — I didn’t want to do it. But I work for a company that mandates it, and I have until September 30 to get it done, or I’m out… I respect everyone’s decision. I really do. But to mandate it is sick. It’s one thing with masks, and I don’t have a problem with that. It’s another thing when you force this.’
- Steele, who is mixed race, on Barack Obama identifying as African American: ‘I think that’s fascinating considering his black dad was nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him. But hey, you do you, I’m going to do me.’
- Steele on sexism suffered by female employees who dress provocatively: ‘When you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you put that outfit on, too. We need to be responsible as women, too. We know what we’re doing when we put certain things on.’
Steele was famously critical of former President Barack Obama and the COVID-19 vaccine
‘All I ever wanted was consistency,’ Steele said Friday. Steele criticized ESPN allowing the likes of Andrews, Duncan and Spain to spout their perspectives both on-air and online but instead pulled from the air Steele for comments on Uncut with Jay Cutler.
‘I should be allowed on my personal time to give my opinion on my experiences personally, without telling others what to do, or how to feel about being biracial or being forced to take a vaccine,’ she said. ‘And I think that’s just what breaks my heart; is that there were different rules for me than everyone else.’
The ban was handed down in October of 2021 following Steele’s interview on Jay Cutler’s podcast, in which she dismissed COVID-19 vaccine mandates as ‘sick’, criticized women who dress provocatively, and took issue with Obama’s claims that he identifies as African-American.
She was forced to apologize before reappearing on the air.
‘I did not want to apologize,’ Steele told Kelly. ‘I fought and I fought and I begged and I screamed. And I was told that if I want to keep my job, I have to apologize. And I need my job, and I love my job, Megyn. I loved it. Loved it! Every moment.
‘I knew that there was a line somewhere. I just didn’t know what it was until it was crossed.’ And then it was, that moment for Steele was her removal from ABC’s coverage of the Rose Parade.
‘That was it,’ she said. ‘I knew that mentally I had checked out and was heartbroken again at the hypocrisy of the rules. Either rules a rule for everybody or nobody but you can pick and choose and especially if it’s just one person, it’s just me.
Terms of the settlement have not been revealed. Front Office Sports previously reported that Steele was offered $501,000 by the network to drop her lawsuit.