ESPN suspended on-air personality Sage Steele for a week following controversial comments in a podcast appearance.
Her remarks included referring to the company’s vaccine mandate as “sick” and saying it was “fascinating” that former President Obama identifies as Black “considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found.”
“If they make you choose a race, what are you gonna put? Well, both,” Steele said on Jay Cutler’s podcast “Uncut.” “Barack Obama chose Black and he’s biracial… I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad is nowhere to be found but his white mom and grandma raised him, but okay. You do you. I’m gonna do me.”
“At ESPN, we embrace different points of view — dialogue and discussion makes this place great,” ESPN said in a statement. “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.”
Steele apologized for the comments.
“I know my recent comments created controversy for the company and I apologize,” she said. “We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and its more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully.”