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ESPN anchor sidelined following controversial comments about Obama, COVID-19

Sage Steele
Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 18:15:26-04

Sage Steele is off the air at ESPN after making controversial remarks on the podcast Uncut with Jay Cutler.

During the podcast, Steele seemed to question why former President Barack Obama identifies as Black.

"Considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him," she said.

Steele also spoke out against her network's decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. She said while she respects people's decision
to get the vaccine, she called the mandate "sick."

However, Steele said she got the vaccine because she loves and needs her job.

In a statement Tuesday, Steele apologized for her comments.

"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.

ESPN also released a statement:

"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."

Steele has been with ESPN since 2007. It's unclear when, or if, she will return to her normal duties.