ESPN anchor Sage Steele has been trending on social media for comments she made about President Barack Obama’s racial identity and calling ESPN’s vaccine “sick.” She has now been pulled off air.
According to Variety, ESPN executives at the Disney company’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters released the following statement, “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.”
The outlet also reports she has tested positive for COVID.
In case you missed it, while on the podcast Uncut with Jay Cutler, along with complaining about taking the coronavirus vaccine, she commented on Obama and his father, who died nearly four decades ago.
While discussing what box she checks on the Census, Steele brought up President Obama’s racial identity. The 48-year-old, who has an African American father and an Irish/Italian mother, identifies as biracial, which is technically not a racial category but a racial descriptor.
“If they make you choose a race, what are you gonna put? Well, both,” said Steele. “Barack Obama chose black and he’s biracial…congratulations to the President, that’s his thing, I think that’s fascinating considering his black dad is nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him, but okay. You do you. I’m gonna do me.”
“Listen, I’m pretty sure my white mom was there when I was born,” she continues. “And my white family loves me as much as my Black family.”
Obama Sr. died in 1982 at 48 years old in an automobile accident when his son was only 21 years old.
Additionally, since 2000, Steele, or anyone else, can check more than one race on the Census.
According to USA Today, Sage Steele has now apologized, saying in a statement, “I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it’s more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully.”