With the playoffs just around the corner, Steele will be replaced by Michelle Beadle, the co-host of SportsNation, who is expected to host the pregame and halftime NBA shows on ABC, the Washington Post reports.
Steele hasn’t been one of black America’s favorite people since she took African-American men to task for protesting the killings of unarmed African-American men, women and children. And let’s not forget that time people protested the Muslim ban and Steele was super annoyed, and not because the ban was totally xenophobic and fucked up; she was mad because she was going to miss her flight.
And because the biracial host has been critical of African Americans on social media, it didn’t take long for social media to bite back.
Steele won’t be completely without work, since she will continue to appear on SportsCenter on the Road, and ESPN notes that she will have an “expanded on-site presence at events such as the Masters, World Series, Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff, and College Football National Championship.”
RIP, Sage Steele, wherever you are, because no one watches SportsCenter on the Road. May your presence on social media dwarf back to nothingness; or maybe, just maybe, you can move over to Fox News, where your commentary belongs.
|Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Bleacher Ball|
ESPN’s Sage Steele out as host of ‘NBA Countdown’ after controversial comments
With the NBA playoffs less than two weeks away, ESPN is making a major roster change.
Veteran basketball analyst Sage Steele, who has courted controversy with her conservative comments on social media, will be replaced by Michelle Beadle as host of “NBA Countdown” on both ESPN and ABC, the networks announced Tuesday.
Steele will continue to appear on ESPN’s “SportsCenter on the Road” and she will have an “expanded on-site presence at events such as the Masters, World Series, Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff, and College Football National Championship,” according to a statement.
Steele, 44, has been with the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” for a decade, but found herself in hot water recently as she weighed in on some hot button issues.
She took to Instagram in January to complain about crowds protesting President Trump’s travel ban.
“So THIS is why thousands of us dragged luggage nearly 2 miles to get to LAX, but still missed our flights,” she captioned a photo of a demonstrators at Los Angeles International Airport.
She also blasted NFL players who chose to kneel during the national anthem and cut short an interview with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler when he began to voice his political opinion after last year’s celebrity All-Star game.
In February, Steele, who is biracial, caused another stir when she shared her experiences with racism at a Christian forum in Tampa.
“The worst racism that I have received [as a biracial woman married to a white man], and I mean thousands and thousands over the years, is from black people, who in my mind thought would be the most accepting because there has been that experience,” she said during a conference on race at the Crossing Church. “But even as recent as the last couple of weeks, the words that I have had thrown at me I can’t repeat here, and it’s 99% from people with my skin color.”
Social media users, who have taken Steele to task over her conservative commentary, had a field day with her demotion.
“I guess ESPN was fed up with Sage Steele. Lord knows we are too,” tweeted @ceonelly.
“ Yeah I was finally done with Sage Steele when she complained about being “inconvenienced” by the protesters during the Muslim ban. #girlbye,” wrote @nikki2002h.
ESPN replaces Sage Steele on 'NBA Countdown' amid network's decision to limit on-air talent's political commentary
Sage Steele has been replaced by Michelle Beadle on ESPN's "NBA Countdown."
Steele has been with ESPN for a decade, and has been at the center of several controversies in recent months regarding her conservative political views. In January, Steele came under fire when she complained about protesters of President Donald Trump's travel ban, causing her to miss her flights.
She also faced heat for abruptly ending an interview with Arcade Fire lead singer Win Butler after he voiced his left-leaning political opinions at the NBA's Celebrity All-Star Game, and for criticizing NFL players' decision not to kneel for the National Anthem.
Most recently, Steele found herself in hot water after saying at a conference in February that the "worst racism that I have received ... is from black people."
"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.
The staffing shake-up comes amid the network's newly-issued guidelines aimed to limit on-air talent's political commentary.
"Given the intense interest in the most recent presidential election and the fact 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. "...we 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."
ESPN declined to comment and a rep for Steele did not return Fox News' request for comment.
However, a source told Fox News, Steele is still "very much employed" by ESPN and is leading the network's "SportsCenter on the Road" initiative. The source told us Steele's new role was announced months ago and she is still a "big part" of the company.