Sage Steele has been replaced by Michelle Beadle on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” following reports of multiple, politically-based confrontations Steele has had with the network.
Steele faced a backlash from the public after ending an on-air interview with Arcade Fire, the lead singer of Win Butler, when he began to voice his political views on NFL players, saying he believed they should be kneeling rather than standing during the National Anthem.
Steele has made her conservative political views obvious in other circumstances, as well, including when she complained about public protesters of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Most recently, Steele observed, “Worst racism that I have received … is from black people,” at a conference in February.
“There are times that I believe that we, as African Americans, can be hypocritical, and that is to not look ourselves in the mirror … when we are saying certain things, and blaming other groups for one thing, when we are doing the exact same thing,” she added.
ESPN has released new guidelines for its on-air personalities when it comes to political commentary.
“Given the intense interest in the most recent presidential election and the fact [that] subsequent political and social discussions often intersected with the sports world, we found it to be an appropriate time to review our guidelines,” ESPN’s vice president of global digital content, Patrick Stiegman, said. “[W]e wanted the policy to reflect the reality of the world today. There are people talking about politics in ways we have not seen before, and we’re not immune from that.”
A source told FOX that Steele is still with ESPN and will be leading the network’s “SportsCenter on the Road” initiative.
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