Sportscaster Sage Steele has reportedly stepped away from her duties at ESPN after testing positive for COVID-19. Front Office Sports reporter Michael McCarthy shared the news earlier this morning, but he did not outline a plan for Steele’s potential return.
“ESPN anchor Sage Steele has been pulled from the air due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, said sources. Steele is under fire for her resistance to mandated vaccine shots by ESPN and parent Disney, as well her controversial comments about Barack Obama,” McCarthy tweeted.
As McCarthy tweeted, Steele recently participated in an interview with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. During the interview, she made a number of inappropriate comments regarding the attire of young sports reporters and former President Barack Obama. She also joked about comparisons between herself and conservative pundit Candace Owens. Not to mention, Steele made a number of comments regarding Disney’s vaccination policy.
“I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30th to get it done or I’m out,” Steele said.
“I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it’s scary to me in many ways.”
On ESPN’s vaccine mandate, Sage Steele said mandates are “sick” and “scary,” but wasn’t “surprised it got to this point with Disney, a global company.” pic.twitter.com/SoBabFgldF
— Resist Programming ? (@RzstProgramming) October 3, 2021
Steele has since issued a statement regarding her comments about ESPN’s vaccination policy.
“I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it’s more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully,” she said, according to USA Today.
“At ESPN, we embrace 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. We are having direct conversations with Sage and those conversations will remain private,” ESPN added.
ESPN has not indicated that Steele was disciplined for her comments.