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37. "Sage Steele, if you need her..."
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ESPN’s Sage Steele calls Obama’s choice to identify as Black ‘fascinating’: ‘His Black dad was nowhere to be found’

Former NFL quarterback-turned-podcaster Jay Cutler introduced his guest with a bit of a warning.

“She’s been opinionated on a few different topics that are probably hot right now,” he told his audience.

ESPN anchor Sage Steele didn’t disappoint. Over the next hour, Steele called her employer’s vaccine mandate “sick,” told young women breaking into sports journalism that they know what they’re doing when they “dress like that,” and remarked on former president Barack Obama’s Blackness.

Obama, whose father is from Kenya, selected “African-American” when completing his 2010 Census questionnaire. Steele noted the former president was raised by his White mother and maternal grandmother — not his Black father.

Steele was the sole guest on the Sept. 29 episode of the podcast “Uncut With Jay Cutler,” hosted by the former NFL quarterback who played for the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins during his 12-season career before retiring in 2017.

Toward the start of the interview, Steele — who’s worked at the Walt Disney Co.-owned sports network for nearly 15 years — started out recounting how, when she was coming up in sports journalism, some players would make it difficult for her or inappropriately ask her to dinner in exchange for inside information. She said she didn’t care and found ways to laugh off their advances, chalking up their behavior to them “just being stupid guys in the locker room.”

But, Steele added, she’s rejected recent requests from women asking for her help and advice on how to succeed in the industry because she doesn’t want to associate with reporters who present themselves in certain ways.

“So when you dress like that, I'm not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you're doing when you're putting that outfit on, too,” Steele said. “Like, women are smart, so don't play coy and put it all on the guys.”

Later in the interview, Steele touched on race, telling a story about how she once got “ripped” on live TV because she insisted on identifying as biracial, which she described as “a huge blessing” and “the best of both worlds.”

One of the TV show’s hosts pushed her to choose “Black” or “White,” Steele said. The host told her the Census Bureau allowed people to select only one and that Obama, who’s also biracial, had chosen Black.

“I’m like, ‘Well, congratulations to the president. That’s his thing.’ I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found, but his White mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you. I’m going to do me.”

Toward the end of the episode, Steele addressed the recent mandate from Disney that all employees, including some 4,000 that work for ESPN, be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Steele conceded that the mandate led her to get vaccinated but said she felt “defeated” by doing so.

“I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it’s scary to me in many ways,” she said. “But I have a job, a job that I love and, frankly, a job that I need.”

In a statement released Tuesday morning, ESPN said the company embraces “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,” the company said. “We are having direct conversations with Sage and and those conversations will remain private.”

Steele also released a statement, saying she apologized for her recent comments creating “controversy for the company.”

“We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time and that impacts all of us, and it’s more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully,” she said.

Despite being a self-described “tough” person, Steele said getting the vaccine was painful, implying that the health-care worker who gave it to her hurt her intentionally. “Maybe she thought I was Candace Owens,” Steele said, referencing the Black conservative firebrand who has spoken out against the coronavirus vaccines.

One of Steele’s former co-workers, Jemele Hill, who left ESPN in 2018 following tweets in which she described President Donald Trump as “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists,” called Steele’s comments about Obama and women “Clown behavior.”

Jemele Hill stands by calling President Trump a white supremacist: ‘I thought I was saying water is wet’
Reacting to Steele’s comments about Obama and Blackness, MSNBC host Joy Reid wrote on Twitter that the American construct of race was built by White people seeking to ensure the “purity” of Whiteness as a way of elevating themselves above the African people they were enslaving or their descendants. This gave rise to the “one-drop rule,” the concept that any amount of non-Whiteness — often imagined as “Black blood” — disqualified someone from being White.

Reid tweeted of Obama: “By every European/American-made conception of race he is Black (as is Ms Steele, sorry ma’am!)”

Ben Strauss contributed to this report.

...I'm from the era when A.I. was the answer, now they think ai is the answer - Marlon Craft


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Sage Steele claims black coworkers excluded her from ESPN race special [View all] , BrooklynWHAT, Wed Jul-22-20 09:19 AM
Subject Author Message Date ID
damn, I like Elle and Michael...
Jul 22nd 2020
Good for them. Nobody wants to hear Steele’s bullshit.
Jul 22nd 2020
she is miserable
Jul 22nd 2020
Jul 22nd 2020
Jalen's reaction gets me every time
Jul 22nd 2020
😂😂😂 he couldn’t contain himself
Jul 22nd 2020
Same. His and Doug’s fist bump was great too
Oct 08th 2021
they absolutely had no idea what was going on lol...
Oct 08th 2021
Forgot about this, LOVE this
May 24th 2022
ha ha.
Jul 22nd 2020
LMAO, totally forgot about this
Jul 22nd 2020
LMAO 😂 😂😂. Jalen is the best.
Jul 23rd 2020
this is all the evidence you need...
Jul 24th 2020
Jul 24th 2020
Oct 08th 2021
Jul 22nd 2020
she thinks people don't like her because of her politics
Jul 22nd 2020
^^^ all of this
Jul 22nd 2020
she had no problem shading the arcade fire dude for his politics.
Jul 22nd 2020
      wow i'd never seen that
Jul 24th 2020
      lmao. didn't expect arcade fire lead singer to be a hooper
Jul 26th 2020
i knew she wasnt a real sista when she let chael sonnen do this:
Jul 22nd 2020
are we going to act like this isn't a factor?
Jul 23rd 2020
It’s not, nor should it be. Plenty of Black people don’t lose
Jul 23rd 2020
LOL. No.
Jul 23rd 2020
if it is for you let that be your problem
Jul 23rd 2020
I didn't exclude her from anything genius.
Jul 24th 2020
No. It’s her conservative ass political opinions.
Jul 24th 2020
cute family
Jul 24th 2020
not at all
Jul 24th 2020
She brought this on herself...
Jul 23rd 2020
it's probably both
Jul 24th 2020
I keep hearing people say "her politics" but have never seen or heard...
Jul 24th 2020
I think people are referring to this:
Jul 24th 2020
RE: I keep hearing people say "her politics" but have never seen or hear...
Jul 24th 2020
Good catch, I had forgotten all about that shit I had written her off...
Jul 24th 2020
When Jemele got in hot water for calling DT a racist...
Jul 24th 2020
Yup, she's vile.
Jul 24th 2020
RE: When Jemele got in hot water for calling DT a racist...
Jul 26th 2020
      when the travel ban came down
Oct 05th 2021
she has a twitter feed, you can pull it up
Jul 27th 2020
you wanna hear a gem of a Sage story...
Oct 05th 2021
when in the podcast is it?
Oct 05th 2021
      RE: when in the podcast is it?
Oct 05th 2021
this woman is sick af
Oct 05th 2021
wow, it is funny that what goes around comes around lol...:
Oct 05th 2021
Dusted off Linda Cohn and Suzy?
Oct 05th 2021
      RE: Dusted off Linda Cohn and Suzy?
Oct 05th 2021
           When was this?
Oct 05th 2021
The transition of these 2 paragraphs...
Oct 05th 2021
That is
Oct 06th 2021
lmao @ sorry, ma'am!
Oct 05th 2021
I just watched the interview to get some context,
Oct 05th 2021
      Put the Candace Owens comment in context for me
Oct 06th 2021
      nah.. that Obama shit was goofy af and down right ignorant
Oct 06th 2021
Taken off the air…
Oct 05th 2021
Oct 05th 2021
RE: Taken off the air…
Oct 05th 2021
      She’ll be doing a PTI-style show with Will Cain, by November
Oct 05th 2021
      yeah. feels like she has been posturing for something outside ESPN
Oct 05th 2021
      yeah.. I bet she ends up on OAN or one of those networks
Oct 06th 2021
Fuck her
Oct 06th 2021
Never forget…
Oct 08th 2021
wow I had forgotten about that lol...
Oct 08th 2021
Oct 08th 2021
John Rahm with golf shot of the year
May 20th 2022
ball dont lie.
May 20th 2022
May 22nd 2022
May 20th 2022
luka supposedly has/had some unidentified illness.
May 20th 2022
wrong post.
May 20th 2022
May 20th 2022

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