ESPN's Sage Steele Temporarily Pulled From Network After Series Of Distasteful Comments
The sports anchor has been pulled from the air and pulled from a hosting gig.
October 05, 2021 at 7:50 pm
(Update Oct. 5, 2021): ESPN has temporarily removed sports anchor Sage Steele from the airwaves following the recent backlash she faced over her comments made on the podcast Uncut with Jay Cutler. During her interview with Cutler, Steele made bold statements about women needing to be "responsible" for the way they dress. The anchor also criticized former President Barack Obama and struck down ESPN and Disney’s vaccine mandates.
Front Office Sports reports she’ll be off the air for a week at a minimum. In addition, her hosting appearance at an event, ESPNW: Women + Sports Summit, which is scheduled for Oct. 18-20, has been pulled. The outlet also reports that she tested positive for COVID-19.
Steele apologized for her controversial statements Tuesday morning.
“I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize,” she wrote in a statement, per USA Today.
"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 continued.
The network responded to Steele’s criticism in a statement. Though, the company did not indicate if she would face repercussions due to her conduct.
"At ESPN, we embrace different points of view — dialogue and discussion makes this place great," the company said.
"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," the statement read.
Original (Oct. 4, 2021): ESPN anchor Sage Steele found herself facing backlash after spewing a series of controversial comments during a discussion with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler on Wednesday. Although it's unclear what led to their conversation about harassment against women, Steele shared her questionable perspective on the topic during Cutler's podcast Uncut with Jay Cutler.
“I do think that as women we have to be responsible as well. It isn't just on players and coaches to act a certain way," the sports reporter said.
She then proceeded to regurgitate a comment often heard from conservative individuals who blame women for being victims of rape and harassment.
"When you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you put that outfit on too,” Steele said. "We know what we're doing when we put certain things on."
Cutler followed up with his approval, saying "that's so true."
Sage Steele believes women “need to be responsible as well” for inappropriate comments directed at them.— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) October 4, 2021
Sage tells young women, “when you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you put that outfit on too.” pic.twitter.com/6CrxOoXILN