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Prominent Sportscenter anchor Sage Steele spoke of a divisive work environment at the liberal sports network ESPN, after complaining that she was frozen out of a race-centered primetime special by black colleagues.
Steele told ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro last month she believes she was excluded from the special, “The Undefeated Presents Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated,” aired in June following the death of George Floyd, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The anchor reportedly said she wasn’t considered by certain black colleagues to be an authentic voice for the black community.
The ESPN on-air personalities were identified as Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves, according to a source cited.
Steele, a 13-year veteran sportscaster, told the WSJ in a statement:
“I found it sad for all of us that any human being should be allowed to define someone’s ‘Blackness.’ 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.”
An ESPN spokesman denied to the Journal that Steele was left out of the special due to any complaints by her colleagues.
In a joint statement, Duncan and Eaves said they wished there was more than an hour to do the special “to include more of the many strong voices we have at ESPN.”
They did not directly address Steele’s assertion that she was excluded.
There are reports that Steele’s political views are not radical enough for some of her liberal colleagues.
More from Outkick on those views:
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. Recently, and this was after the special that she was allegedly frozen out of, she expressed frustration about how little criticism DeSean Jackson received for sharing a Hitler quote on Instagram in comparison to what Drew Brees said about standing for the national anthem.
Given the deity status Kaepernick has acquired, and that the hard-left former NFL player will be featured in an exclusive docuseries produced by ESPN Films as part of a first-look deal with The Walt Disney Co., defiance to the excepted narrative may very well be a deal-breaker.
And there has been defiance:
Are we talking about this Sage Steele? Is this the same person who feels like her Black colleagues don’t rock with her? Would you blame them for having an, “All skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” way of dealing with her? pic.twitter.com/NeDE04hqO9
— L E F T, PhD ⚫️ (@LeftSentThis) July 21, 2020
In the eyes of the left, Steele also failed to come to the defense of former ESPN host Jemele Hill when the race-baiting sports journalist called President Trump a “white supremacist.”
An even greater sin to this cabal was to suggest that “the worst racism” she has seen came from other black people.
“I’m experiencing stereotypes even to this day, from both sides. Sometimes it’s even tougher — and the words and comments are uglier — from black people,” Steel told Huffington Post. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called a sellout for marrying a white man and for having kids that look white.”
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