Longtime ESPN anchor and personality Sage Steele has announced that she is leaving the sports network giant for other endeavours, explaining that she wants to exercise her First Amendment rights “more freely.”
“Life update. After successfully settling my case with ESPN/Disney, I’ve decided to leave so I can exercise my First Amendment rights more freely,” Steele said Written Tuesday on Xsocial media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Sports media outlet Sports Front Office first reported The news of Steele’s departure.
“I am grateful for the many great experiences over the past 16 years, and I am excited for my next chapter!” Added a longtime “Sportscenter” anchor.
Steele, who has been with ESPN since 2007, sued the network and its parent company, Walt Disney, last year for allegedly violating its free speech rights. Steele alleged that the sports media outlet retaliated against her for comments she made on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast.
Former NFL quarterback Steele Cutler told her company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate was “sick,” adding that she finds former President Obama identified as “cool” black because he was raised by his white mother and grandmother.
In response, ESPN removed Steele from programming for a week due to her comments.
According to Front Office Sports, Steele rejected an offer of $501,000 from ESPN to settle the lawsuit earlier this year.
Steele is one of the few sports media personalities in years past who has spoken openly about their conservative beliefs.
Former ESPN correspondent Allison Williams made headlines in 2021 when she stepped down from her role with the company over a disagreement with its vaccine mandate. Williams, who later joined conservative media outlet The Daily Wire, sued her former employer earlier this year, alleging the company terminated her contract after she refused a COVID-19 vaccine.
Former NFL reporter Michelle Tafoya left her job with NBC Sports last year to serve as co-chair of Republican Gov. Kendall Kallis’ bid in Minnesota.
The Hill has reached out to ESPN for comment.
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