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On a podcast, ESPN anchor Sage Steele called vaccine mandates «sick» and «scary» and questioned why former President Barack Obama identifies as Black even though he was raised by his white mother.
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The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in people who are infected with the virus.
On the subject of race, Steele said she thought it was «fascinating» that Obama identified himself as Black on the U.S. Census «considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him.»
Steele also said young female journalists bear some responsibility for preventing any harassment they may face in the male-dominated world of professional sports.
«When you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you’re putting that outfit on, too,» she said.
Supporters and critics respond to Steele’s comments
In a tweet, Cutler linked to a story about Steele getting pulled off the air after appearing on his podcast and called it «ridiculous.»
Carron J. Phillips, a senior writer for Deadspin, noted a contrast between how ESPN treated Steele and how it responded when former anchor Jemele Hill called then-President Donald Trump a «white supremacist,» characterizing the company’s responses as «sooooooo different.»
ESPN’s Jemele Hill On Race, Football And That Tweet About Trump
After Hill’s comments drew scrutiny in 2017, the sports network issued a statement saying: «The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN. We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.»
Hill, in a tweet this week, said Steele’s remarks on Obama and up-and-coming female sports reporters amounted to «clown behavior.»