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ESPN Anchor Who Ranted Against Vaccine Mandates Off the Air After Contracting COVID-19

2020 was a strange year for sports. Many teams had to play their games in empty stadiums as leagues attempted to keep fans safe from COVID. Things are much better in 2021. Many stadiums are now filling back up with fans. And the vast majority of professional athletes have been vaccinated. Those who choose against doing so are at risk of hurting their teams.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Bleacher Ball

Most sports broadcasters have also gotten their vaccines. They didn’t have much choice as most companies are mandating them. Sage Steele, from ESPN, was one of the few who spoke out against mandates. And one week later, she is off the air after contracting the illness.

Steele said during an appearance on Jay Cutler’s podcast, “”I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30th to get it done or I’m out. I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it’s scary to me in many ways.”

The ESPN anchor later apologized for those remarks in a statement which read, “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.”

Now Steele will be absent from the air for the time being after a positive COVID test. Front Office Sports reports, “ESPN anchor Sage Steele has been removed from the air. The co-anchor of the noon “SportsCenter” is expected to be off for at least a week, said sources. Steele is also expected to skip her turn as host of the espnW: Women + Sports Summit.'”

According to the site, the positive COVID test is not the only reason for the time off.



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