‘It’s actually racist’: Former ESPN anchor Sage Steele exposes the truth behind identity politics

As a biracial woman who rose to the top of the male-dominated field of sports broadcasting, Sage Steele is an exemplar of the American melting pot.

But none of that mattered when she started…

As a biracial woman who rose to the top of the male-dominated field of sports broadcasting, Sage Steele is an exemplar of the American melting pot.

But none of that mattered when she started speaking up for traditional American values.

“If we truly believe in diversity, it’s diversity of thought. We must begin there,” Steele told Tucker Carlson in a recent interview.

Steele recounts how she got in hot water with ESPN for voicing her opinions on the COVID-19 vaccine mandates, transgender athletes and even racial identities.  

“The hypocrisy was too thick for me to remain silent,” she told Carlson. “You cannot pick and choose who is allowed to speak. My network, ESPN, allowed – at the same time as my going on – my peers to go on Sports Center, to go on NBA shows and talk about Roe v. Wade and talk about George Floyd and talk about these things on a sports show!” 

But when Steele expressed support for former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, who advocates for women’s rights in sports, or questioned ESPN’s vaccine mandate, she said the network tried to silence her. 

As a woman, Steele is particularly passionate about protecting the integrity of women’s sports and doesn’t think women are doing enough to support other women on the issue.  

“We complain about the guys but look in the mirror. What do we do to each other first and foremost?” she asked. “There’s a difference between attacking the transgender community and supporting women … and I had no idea that it would be controversial to stand up for women.” 

But Steele has always been one to swim upstream when her values demanded it.  

From the age of 11, she says it was her dream to be a sportscaster at ESPN. But when the network first offered Steele a position in 2004, she turned it down to focus on her young children. 

“I didn’t look at it as a bigger picture thing. It was just what I felt I had to do at that moment,” she recalled. “In hindsight, it was a ‘I believe in myself’ thing and faith in God, where if this was meant to be, then I would get another chance. 

“But either way, I have my babies, and I will never regret that.” 

She did get another chance, but the road hasn’t been a smooth one. 

In 2014, Steele came under fire for comments she made on The View about identifying as biracial.  

In the interview, Steele drew a parallel between her own family – a black father and a white mother – with then-President Obama’s, but noted he identifies as black rather than biracial, as she does.  

Since then, she’s been heavily criticized by “people who look like me,” she says.  

“The hypocrisy in this whole topic [is] I represent diversity in America,” she told Carlson. “It is completely hypocritical in my mind for the black community to draw this line and because I don’t say, ‘black,’ and I say, ‘biracial,’ I’m a sellout, I’m a coon, I’m names I can’t say on TV. 

“I’ve received death threats from people who look like me because I don’t identify the way they want me to.” 

When ESPN eventually suspended Steele in 2021, the network cited her comments about Obama. 

“Are you not allowed to talk about Obama?” Carlson asked incredulously.  

“Not if you don’t follow the narrative,” Steele explained. “If I had said, ‘Listen I grew up in a biracial household but I’m a black woman,’ I would probably still have a job.” 

Steele eventually sued ESPN and its owner, Disney, for stifling her free speech. In the fall of 2023, she left the network altogether. Her suit was settled by the companies.  

“It was a brutal decision to have to decide to publicly stand up and file a lawsuit,” she recalled. “I hope and pray that by little old me trying to stand up against big bad Disney – it really is David vs. Goliath – that maybe more companies, more bosses, more leaders will begin to realize, listen, it’s all or nothing. Just keep the rules consistent for everybody.”  

Now, Steele speaks about her experiences across the nation, fighting against the liberal narrative that race is paramount. 

“I have to keep speaking out about this – and all of these things that have gotten me in trouble – because it is bigger than me,” she told Carlson. “There are a bunch of biracial kids out there who are being told that they’re not enough, who are being told to ignore their white mother or their white father or Asian mother or father, and I know what that feels like.  

“I’ve been hung publicly and canceled for not identifying the way that others want me to. So if I don’t speak up because I now don’t care about what comes at me, then what about these kids? 

“I will do anything to help parents and kids, who [are] being told they’re not enough because they don’t identify how the left and the black community – not all areas but in many – says we have to identify. 

“It’s BS, it’s actually racist, it’s wrong.”