According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, ESPN anchor Sage Steele was iced out of a special for the network regarding race after two of her colleagues complained that the biracial anchor would not be accepted by the black community. Steele herself described it that she was deemed, “not black enough.”
“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,” the Journal reported Tuesday.
The title of the ESPN Special was “The Undefeated Presents Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated,” and it was aired on June 24. “It was a reflection on race and sports after the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis,” according to the Journal.
“I found it sad for all of us that any human being should be allowed to define someone’s ‘Blackness,’” the anchor said. “Growing up biracial in America with a Black father and a white mother, I have felt the inequities that many, if not all Black and biracial people have felt—being called a monkey, the ‘n’ word, having ape sounds made as I walked by—words and actions that all of us know sting forever.”
“Most importantly, trying to define who is and isn’t Black enough goes against everything we are fighting for in this country, and only creates more of a divide,” Steele added further.
The spokesperson of ESPN has shed more light on this issue.
“At The Undefeated, we don’t have litmus tests for Blackness,” said Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated. “ESPN has a tremendous range of Black voices, and we’ve been honored to work with many of them.”
Merida also said, “We had already talked to Sage a number of times about working together, and look forward to that opportunity.”
Duncan and Eaves did not give a direct response to Steele. They however said, “We wish we had more than an hour to include more of the many strong voices we have at ESPN; however, we are hopeful that this doesn’t distract from the important message conveyed that night.”
There are several occasions where Steele has picked up the far-left identity politics. For example, the anchor recently thanked NBA star Charles Barkley for calling out people in the black community to express hate towards white and Jews people, name-checking entertainer Nick Cannon, rapper Ice Cube, and NFL player DeShawn Jackson.
“Thank you, Charles,” Steele captioned the video of Barkley condemning the hate.
The sports outlet also added, “Steele grew up around the military,” Outkick the Coverage noted. “She has come under fire for positions on social media over the years, including taking issue with all the coverage Colin Kaepernick was receiving and criticizing people who were protesting against Donald Trump’s travel ban for disrupting others’ airport travel logistics.”
Outkick media has really praised Steele for her recent action. It said that Steele finally came out and said what people have been saying about ESPN for a long time. ESPN has embraced far-left wing politics too much that there is no place for someone like Sage Steele to have her voice heard.
Now the only thing left to do is wait and see if she gets the boot from ESPN.