ESPN’s Sage Steele is feeling some kind of way these days. That’s because as ESPN has finally decided to address social issues in this country Steele, a Black woman, was not included in the network special on race. The name of the special was The Undefeated Presents Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated, which aired on June 24th. Sage Steele feels that she was kept off the special because of two of her colleagues Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves, but ESPN has denied this claim. Duncan and Eaves made a statement that there was only an hour and they wish they had more time to include more voices from ESPN and they don’t want this discussion to take away from the message of the special.
Steele feels that it is sad that someone was trying to define another person’s Blackness. She is the daughter of a Black father and white mother and as a biracial child she has felt the same inequities of other Black children. She said she has been called a monkey and other derogatory names. She said, people deciding who is and who is not Black enough goes against what we are fighting for in the country and this is creating a divide.
ESPN is no stranger to controversy, especially when dealing with their talent and them using their platform to address issues affecting minorities in this country. The worldwide leader in sports would love to stick to sports, but now is not the time to do that. Sports offer a great platform and it should be used.
Sage Steele is also not a stranger to controversy including complaining about airport delays during Trump’s travel ban, criticizing NFL players for kneeling during the anthem and complaining about being criticized more by Black people than others. Maybe Steele didn’t make the cut for the special because of her previous actions and words and not because she isn’t “Black” enough. Steele seems to have a habit of being the victim and putting her foot in her mouth, ESPN may have saved her from herself.