One Sportscenter anchor is going to be taken off the air for at least a week. Sage Steele will not be on ESPN in the near future. Steele tested positive for COVID-19 and has released a statement of her own regarding the matter.
After making a series of controversial statements, ESPN and Steele came to an agreement to have the anchor step away from her usual duties. This will have a bigger impact on Steele than just her usual time slots on Sportscenter.
The anchor is also going to miss out on hosting the espnW: Women + Sports Summit. That event is scheduled for October 18-20.
The comments that Steele refers to in her statement stems from remarks she made on Jay Cutler’s podcast, Uncut with Jay Cutler. There she remarked on the vaccine mandate her employer had implemented along with comments on former President Barack Obama.
When discussing her recent vaccination Steele said, “I didn’t want to do it. But I work for a company that mandates it and I had until Sept. 30 to get it done or I’m out,” she said to Cutler. She also described the mandate from Disney “sick” and “scary”. The 48-year-old has been with ESPN for 14 years.
In her statement, she said she apologized for the comments. She also said, “We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us.” Steele mentioned that “it’s more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully.”
Sage Steele has had tweets directed at her from Jemele Hill, Keith Olbermann, and many others.
ESPN Comments on Sage Steele Situation
ESPN released a statement on the situation as well.
“At ESPN, we embrace different points of view – dialogue and discussion makes this place great. That said we expect that those points of view be expressed respectfully, in a manner consistent with our values, and in line with our internal policies. We are having direct conversations with Sage and those conversations will remain private.”
So, the two parties have put out statements regarding the controversy. Right now, it looks like Steele will be out for at least a week. Beyond that, there is no official word on her status with the company. It was back in May of this year when ESPN made it clear that their employees would have to get vaccinated.
Over the years at ESPN, Sage Steele has covered a lot of events and been given hosting duties for several of those events. That includes being the host of NBA Countdown as well as the Tournament of Roses Parade over on ABC.