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SportsCenter anchor stated on X, that she was running Disney’s ESPN following a lawsuit settlement

August 17, 2023: The longtime SportsCenter anchor stated on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, that she was going Disney’s ESPN following a lawsuit settlement with the network.

Steele sued the network, alleging the firm retaliated against her for comments she created in a podcast interview with retired NFL quarterback Jay Cutler about the Covid vaccine and other political and social issues.

“Having successfully resolved my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely,” Steele wrote on X, on Tuesday.

“I am thankful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am eager for my next chapter!”

In her lawsuit against ESPN and its parent organization, the anchor alleged her deal and free speech rights were violated after she was “sidelined” following her podcast appearance.

“ESPN and Sage Steele have mutually agreed to part ways,” an ESPN spokesperson said Tuesday.

During the September 2021 podcast, Sage said she had been vaccinated against Covid but directed to the company’s vaccine mandate as “sick.”

She commented on retired President Obama’s ethnicity, saying, “Barack Obama chose Black, and he’s biracial congratulations to the president, that’s his thing. That’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be created, but his white mom and grandma raised him.” Sage also accused the previous Barbara Walters of belittling her for identifying as biracial.

Steele is the daughter of Gary Steele, the first Black football player at West Point, and Mona Steele, a white woman.

During the same podcast, Steele suggested that women who wear provocative clothes in the workplace bear responsibility for the sexism they may experience.

Soon after the podcast, Steele apologized for her comments, saying, “I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in an incredibly challenging time that impacts all of us, and it’s critical than ever to communicate constructively and thoughtfully.”

Following her comments, Steele said in her lawsuit that media coverage “erupted” and in “a knee-jerk reaction,” ESPN and its parent company forced her to apologize publicly and suspended her for some time soon after.

Steele stated in the lawsuit the First Amendment protected her and that she did nothing incorrect since she was interviewed on the podcast as a private citizen on her day off rather than as an ESPN employee.

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SportsCenter anchor stated on X, that she was running Disney’s ESPN following a lawsuit settlement