Sage Steele is reportedly suing the network.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the ESPN anchor has formally filed a lawsuit against the Worldwide Leader In Sports, alleging that her free speech rights were violated.
Following an appearance on Jay Cutler’s podcast last year, she would be taken off the air after she made concerning comments about the COVID-19 vaccine and former president Barack Obama. She also said female reporters dressed a certain way share the blame when athletes make inappropriate comments about them.
“ESPN anchor Sage Steele is suing the network, alleging that her right to free speech was violated and contract breached after she was benched for remarks on vaccine and Obama on Jay Cutler podcast last year,” Joe Flint reports.
Via the report:
“In comments last September on a podcast hosted by former National Football League quarterback Jay Cutler, Ms. Steele touched on political and social topics, questioning Covid-19 vaccine mandates and former President Barack Obama’s decision to identify as Black instead of biracial.
After Ms. Steele’s remarks drew criticism in the press and on social media, ESPN forced her to issue an apology and temporarily benched her, according to the suit, which was served in Connecticut, where the network is based.”
ESPN released a statement to the Wall Street Journal.
Sage remains a valued contributor on some of ESPN’s highest profile content, including the recent Masters telecasts and anchoring our noon SportsCenter. As a point of fact, she was never suspended.
Looks like things could get ugly between Steele and her current employer.