Sage Steele Speaks With Megyn Kelly About Faith, Family, Leftist Double Standards at ESPN

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

On Wednesday Megyn Kelly interviewed Sage Steele about her now-settled lawsuit against the Disney-owned ESPN. Steele became a pariah at ESPN after she sat for an interview in 2021. During that interview, we were still in the grips of pandemic intolerance, with many COVID cultists claiming that we needed to mask forever and boost every other month. Steele's interview was with former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler. In March 2022, I wrote:

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The interview wasn’t controversial unless you inhabit ESPN’s C suite or you’re a Kool-Aid-drinking congregant of the church of the perpetually offended — of which there are plenty.

It was her comments about Obama that riled up the church members. Steele, who is biracial, recounted that she was told by another ESPN host to pick a race. White, or Black – pick one. The podcast host, Jay Cutler told her that the Census Bureau allowed people to select only one race and that Obama, who’s also biracial, had chosen Black.

Steele said:


I’m like, ‘Well, congratulations to the president. That’s his thing.’ I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found, but his White mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you. I’m going to do me.

Steele’s clear and undeniable point was that Obama chose the race of the parent he never knew. His only connection to his father was skin color. The left exploded. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. Such talk is anathema to the perpetually offended.

Steele was an Army brat who grew up on overseas bases and described her upbringing as faithful to family and God, with a code of honor. She developed a moral code from both sides of her family. Her white grandparents disowned their daughter because she married a black man. But Gary Steele, Sage's dad kept sending letters to his wife's parents updating them on how their daughter and grandchildren were thriving. 

Gary Steele was the man who broke the color barrier on West Point’s football team. Incredibly that barrier was still up nearly two decades after Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in Major League Baseball. By any matrix, Gary Steele is the living embodiment of a patriot, and a good and faithful father/husband. Sage told Kelly her mom Mona has the same unbreakable indomitable will to “do what is right.” 

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Sage described her climb to success at ESPN as being less than ideal. The climb---sometimes bumpy---led her, finally, to her anchor seat at SportsCenter – the pinnacle for ESPN's talent pool. 

Then it collapsed. 

After her interview with Cutler, she was forced to apologize on air. The choice was binary: tell ESPN’s audience that she was “sorry” for describing Obama as biracial and the COVID shot as experimental, or find her way to the unemployment line. She took the former – but that wasn’t the end of her punishment. 

ESPN pulled assignments and marginalized her. Colleagues and people she thought were her "friends" were openly hostile. One NFL analyst wouldn't appear on SportsCenter if she was there. She was told an interview with Hallie Berry wouldn’t happen because Berry was refusing to do the interview with Steele. 

ESPN, instead of backing up their employee, did the opposite. Producers openly claimed that Steele was “wrong” for voicing her opinion on her own time – an opinion that didn’t align with the network’s woke and often very public leftist messaging. Messaging is scripted and repeated by other anchors and commentators over and over on the network. Those opinions were not just “tolerated”---they were encouraged. 

Steele and her family were doxed and harassed online. Her daughters were threatened with rape. Oh, the tolerant left.

In an example of ESPN’s leftist slant, political pandering, and blatant hypocrisy, Kelly and Steele spoke about how ESPN personalities reacted to Florida passing the Parental Rights in Education Act. ESPN commentators said that they and the network were “allies” of the alphabet soup crowd, and then announced that the network would stay on the air but observe a “moment of silence.” A moment of silence, akin to grieving, over legislation that gave parents rights. 

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Conservative opinions (and related factual observations) are not allowed at ESPN. Sage said she saw it before the Cutler interview, but it became abundantly clear that ESPN wouldn’t even allow anodyne factual observations---like Barack Obama is half-white---to be uttered in public by its anchors. Even on their own time. Intimating that Colin Kaepernick isn’t a hero or just offering common sense statements like men shouldn’t be allowed to compete against women is anathema at ESPN, Steele said. Say or suggest the polar opposite, and you will thrive at  ESPN.

Steele sued ESPN for creating a hostile work environment and retaliation among other claims. She hired the best employment and entertainment lawyer in the country, Bryan Freedman. After 15 months, ESPN has settled. There is a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement, so we will never know what Sage Steele is getting. Although she cannot discuss the terms, my guess is the settlement is something in the range of 10 times her annual salary. She made $3 million annually, thus I think the payout is in the range of $30 to $40 million.

ESPN wasn’t in a strong position to go to trial. The facts were clear. Connecticut has a strong statute that forbids companies from discriminating and retaliating against employees' private views and opinions. It wasn’t a measure of “if” ESPN would settle; it was just a matter of when and for how much. And settle it did. 

Steele's upbringing and her faith taught her to stand against the storm. During the over two-hour interview (you can watch it in full at the link up top) with Megyn Kelly, she shared the two things “The Colonel” (her dad) made hallmarks for the Steele family:

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  1. Take the harder right, rather than the easier wrong. 

and

2. Never tell a half-truth when the whole can be won. 

God bless people like Sage Steele and her parents, Gary and Mona. 

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