In a past life, when I was still wading through puberty while testing the boundaries of my blossoming independence, my Mom used to look at me like I was fucking stupid and offer some brusque words of encouragement: “You can’t be wrong and strong.”
In the decades since, those words have remained burrowed within the core of my very being, and every time I’m about to embarrass my ancestors by making an ass out of myself, I’m reminded to either a) keep my foolishness to myself or b) stop being foolish entirely.
Sadly, Sage Steele—who’s about as pro-Black as a Confederate general—opts to do neither. In fact, in her latest brush with both foolishness and fuckery, the Sportscenter co-host somehow managed to attack our forever president Barack Obama, co-sign her evil stepsister Candace Owens, blame women for being sexually harassed, and remind us all why her cookout privileges have been suspended indefinitely for years now—all with a little help from the most painfully average white man in the history of ever, habitual NFL underachiever Jay Cutler.
On the latest episode of Uncut with Jay Cutler, the ESPN personality detailed the time she went on The View and, after the hosts pressed her about her penchant for identifying as “biracial,” asked her how she self-identifies in the U.S. Census. They pointed out that Obama identifies as Black despite the fact that his mother, Ann Dunham, is white. To which Steele offered the following imbecilic retort: “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.”
As someone who also identifies as Black despite the fact that I haven’t had a relationship with my biological “father” since I was like 19—although his coward ass was kind enough to magically reappear recently just to tell me “he didn’t have a son”—I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at Steele’s logic. Hell, maybe I should’ve been raised by wolves instead. That way, I would’ve not only had a father who actually gave a shit, but then I could self-identify as lupine! I’m also inclined to believe that Steele only acknowledges her Black half because she has to. Because no self-respecting Black woman that I’ve ever met in my entire
Black-ass lupine-ass life would let a white dude ask to rummage his fingers through her hair, then happily oblige on national television.
But aside from using a white man’s platform and his predominantly white audience to openly critique our forever president’s Blackness, Steele also made it a point to heap praise upon the only other Black girl with no magic, Candace Owens. When she was informed that the internet commonly refers to her as “the Candace Owens of ESPN,” Steele beamed with pride.
“I respect the hell out of Candace Owens,” she said.
And in her final act, Steele made her generous contribution to rape culture when she insisted that women “need to be responsible as well” for the sexual harassment they endure on a daily basis and that “when you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you put that outfit on, too.”
She also noted that she’s refused to offer help to interns and other female journalists who present themselves in a way that she doesn’t approve of.
“They’ll be like, ‘Well, will you look at my tape? Would you do this?’ And I say, ‘Listen, I would love to, but the way that you present yourself is not something I want to be associated with.”
Steele sounds like the type of person who would blame her girlfriend for getting beat by her husband. And I almost want to feel bad for her, but then I remember that she willingly spews this bullshit that emboldens racists, bigots, and misogynists every chance she gets. She’s out here doing real harm to her own people, so it’s not exactly a surprise that her Black co-workers at ESPN don’t fuck with her either.
After we defund the police, can we defund Sage Steele next?
Updated Tuesday, 10/5/21, at 3:43 p.m., ET: Remember that time when Sage Steele blasted ESPN for imposing a “sick” and “scary” mandate that required its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Of course, you do, because I told you all about it here at The Root. Well, in a cruel twist of fate, guess which Sportscenter co-host has been removed from the air indefinitely after contracting the coronavirus?
According to Front Office Sports, that would be Sage Steele, the same person who ESPN just required to get vaccinated. She should send her employers every thank you card in the universe for potentially keeping her out of the hospital and blessing her with the gift of increased immunity from a virus that’s stolen over 700,000 American lives. But she probably won’t since she’s preoccupied with going viral for all the wrong reasons—yet again.