The latest ESPN controversy is going down between colleagues after it was reported that SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele complained about how she was not chosen for the network’s June 24 special “Time for Change: We Won’t be Defeated.” That special, presented by The Undefeated, was billed as “exploring Black athletes’ experiences with injustice,” and it was hosted by SportsCenter anchors Elle Duncan, Michael Eaves and Jay Harris and college football reporter/studio host Maria Taylor.
Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Steele claims Duncan and Eaves kept her from participating in this show.
“ESPN anchor Sage Steele has told management she believes she was excluded from a special the network aired on race last month because she wasn’t considered by certain Black colleagues to be an authentic voice for the Black community, a person familiar with the matter said.
Ms. Steele, one of the network’s most prominent on-air personalities, voiced her concerns to ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro in early June, saying the incident showed the network has a divisive work environment, the person said.
Ms. Steele said colleagues told her she was considered for the special by the executive in charge, Michael Fountain, until two of the other on-air personalities involved, Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves, complained, saying Ms. Steele wouldn’t be accepted by what they considered the Black community, according to the person familiar with her account to management.”
As expected, there was little sympathy for Steele on Twitter.