Sage Steele Bullied By Black ESPN Colleagues Elle Duncan, Michael Eaves?
Sage Steele was reportedly bullied by her black ESPN colleagues, Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves, because of her views on race.
Steele, a host of SportsCenter, is said to have been left out of a special that aired on ESPN regarding race relations.
The special, entitled “The Undefeated Presents Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated,” aired last month. It was a direct byproduct of the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer and the ensuing racial protests that followed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a number of black colleagues of Steele’s viewed her as an inauthentic voice when it came to matters pertaining race. As such, they did not want her involved in the special.
Steele reportedly talked about her exclusion from this special with ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro.
Apparently, Steele was informed by a fellow colleague that she was at one point considered to participate in the special, but was ultimately left out due to interference by Duncan and Eaves.
The executive in charge of the special, Michael Fountain, opted not to use Steele.
The big strike against Steele in the eyes of her critics is that she is not vocally supportive enough of the black community, it appears. This seems to primarily stem from the fact that her views are not as traditionally liberal as some of her black colleagues.
According to the Wall Street Journal, an ESPN spokesman rejected the notion that Steele was left out of the special due to any interference by her colleagues.
Steele has been with ESPN for 13 years, and in that time she has developed an extremely dedicated following. As such, she found it surprising that she was not deemed a valuable enough black voice for the special. She reportedly believes it is part of a larger pattern of hostility towards her due to her beliefs not falling in line with some of her colleagues.
Steele recently made headlines for being one of the first ESPN personalities to call out Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson for his blatant antisemitism.
It remains to be seen if ESPN will ultimately issue a clarifying statement addressing Steele’s concerns and why she has reportedly been treated with such disdain by some of her co-workers.