Sage Steele has done quite well during her career at ESPN. As the host of the 11:00 edition of SportsCenter she is one of the most prominent faces on the network.
And in the last week, she used that prominence to push anti-vaccine rhetoric on a podcast hosted by former NFL player Jay Cutler. Ironically, Steele is now off the air due to a positive case of COVID (along with backlash against her remarks).
Cari Champion worked with Steele at ESPN for nearly 4 years. During a Wednesday appearance on CNN’s New Day, she tore into her former colleague.
Champion told Brianna Keilar, “A lot of people, regardless of her experience or how she chooses to identify for many years related to Sage as the brown girl at ESPN or someone they could look up to or they could aspire to be like. And my reaction was simply disappointed.”
During the podcast appearance Steele also criticized Barack Obama for identifying as black. “It also shows that there is just a lack of unawareness on her part,” Champion responded. “And there was no one there to say that sounds a little strange, don’t you think, Sage? For you to say that about the former president. And it’s actually disrespectful.”
Keilar also asked about Steele’s criticism of female sports anchors dressing too provocatively. Champion answered, “This business, in-particular which is a male dominated business, really doesn’t lend itself to be friendly towards women. So if you have a woman who’s at the top of her game saying she’s not going to help another woman because of the way she’s dressed – all that does is push us further down.”
Watch a clip of the segment below, courtesy of CNN:
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.