Who is Sage Steele's husband? ESPN host pulled off air for questioning Obama's Blackness

ESPN placed Sage Steele on a break for her controversial views and hasn't included her in the network's espnW summit


                            Who is Sage Steele's husband? ESPN host pulled off air for questioning Obama's Blackness
Sage Steele has been put on break for her controversial comments on Barack Obama's Black heritage (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ESPN's 'SportsCenter' anchor Sage Steele won't be seen on the show for the unforeseen future. The troubled network has placed her on a break after she allegedly made some controversial comments while appearing on NFL'er Jay Cutler's podcast. Steele was a guest on 'Uncut with Jay Cutler PodcastOne' on September 29 where she made her views about the coronavirus mandate public, she also weighed in on what makes female journalists susceptible to harassment, as well as commented on Barack Obama's blackness. 

This is not the first time Steele has fallen in trouble for making race-based comments. In July 2020, the anchor had lashed back at her network and Black co-workers saying they excluded her from a special program 'Time for Change: We Won't Be Defeated' owing to her opinion on "certain Black colleagues." ESPN had denied these claims. On July 21, Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal reported, "An ESPN spokesman denied that Ms Steele wasn’t invited to participate in the special because of a campaign by colleagues to undermine her or that her views played any role in Mr Fountain’s decisions." Before we dive into Steele's recent comments, let's take a look at other aspects of her life behind the camera. 

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Who is Sage Steele's husband?

Sage Steele married Jonathan Bailey, a former personal trainer in 1999. The couple dated for six long years after meeting for the first time at Indiana University before tying the knot. Bailey and Steele have kept details of their relationship out of the media glare. The couple has three children together. The couple divorced in 2019. 

They welcomed their first child, a daughter who they named Quinn, on March 23, 2002. Two years later, the couple added their son, Nicholas, now 17, to their brood. In 2006, their youngest daughter Evan who is now 15 was born. Like her wedding, Steele has also kept her kids out of the spotlight but on September 21, she took to Instagram to express what her kids mean to her. "My 🌎 !! Thanks to Quinn, Nicholas & Evan for putting up with my cheesy mom ways, and for being the biggest blessings in my life," she wrote in the caption. "(I guess I failed to post these 'on time' but isn't EVERY DAY #nationalsonsday & #nationaldaughtersday ?! 🤣😘)" she wrote

What did Sage Steele say about Obama and Covid-19 mask mandate?

While guest starring on Cutler's podcast, Steele claimed she was required to get the Covid-19 vaccine after Disney - ESPN's parent company - issued a mandate for all employees. Steele who has been at ESPN since 2007 said she felt "defeated" while receiving the jab because her job at the network was on the line. "I respect everyone's decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it's scary to me in many ways. But I have a job, a job that I love and, frankly, a job that I need," Steele told Cutler. Shortly after she mentioned that the nurse who administered the vaccine to her tried to hurt her arm after mistaking her for Candace Owens. 

"It hurt! And I'm tough, but I think she put it in the muscle and was like 'err'. Maybe she thought I was Candace Owens, I don't know," she said before saying she "respects the hell out of Candace Owens." She also spoke about how she was slammed on live television for saying she identified as bi-racial. She claimed the host of the show told her she had to choose between identifying as either white or Black when filling out federal census data. She claimed the host brought up the example of Obama identifying as Black on his census form. 

"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," she added. She then spoke about her early days as a journalist and how she fielded harassment in the form of inappropriate comments and unsolicited dinner invitations by some athletes. "There were some guys, some players in particular, who made things difficult and if I looked back on the things they said — but I didn't know any different, What are you gonna do? I had no one to tell," Steele said. 

"I actually didn't care, Jay. Women now would probably have a problem with me not caring because, I get it, with Me Too and all that. But at the end of the day, I was new and I don't think people were being malicious. They were just being stupid guys in the locker room. So I would laugh it off and ask my question anyway," she added. Steele said women need to be responsible as well for these comments directed at them. "So when you dress like that, I'm not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you're doing when you're putting that outfit on, too. Like, women are smart, so don't play coy and put it all on the guys," she added. 

Sage Steele's apology

"I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it's more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully," she said in a statement. 

ESPN too issued a statement from their end but didn't mention if Steele being put on break was a disciplinary action. "I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it's more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully," the statement read.

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