Why Sage Steele Needs to Go Sit Down and Stare Longingly at the Stirring Teaspoon

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

At this point, I wish that sports announcer-turned-perpetual wagging finger of respectability politics Sage Steele would just sit, really sit, and stare at the stirring teaspoon.


At this point, those of us with both feet firmly planted on the black side of things get her whole shtick. Steele is the military-raised mixed kid whose politics all seem to land on the “Black people just need to ________” side. For example: Black people just need to stop mouthing off to cops and then they wouldn’t escalate an incident.

So, whenever Steele opens her piehole to speak on anything remotely race-related, I cringe. Not because she is a black woman who literally let a white man touch her hair like a pet, but because her position on all things black is just yawn-inducing. At this point, I’d much rather have a different spokesperson for the oppositional side of things.


Nevertheless, Steele recently spoke on Charlottesville, Va., and Colin Kaepernick, and I’ll give you one guess what she had to say about both.

On Charlottesville, Steele said she believes that people don’t watch shows like ESPN’s SportsCenter to hear about the terrorist attacks that took place there.

Now, it isn’t that Steele doesn’t have a point about sports being a place to escape, but her choosing this particular topic from which to discuss sports seems to fall in line with other controversial “alt-right” positions she’s held.

Like, who can forget the time Steele bashed a protest to stop immigration laws that would kick people out of the country, and literally rip parents away from their children, because said protest caused her to miss a flight? Or the time Steele claimed that the worst racism she’s received came from blacks? Steele has also used her platform to be one of the loudest voices to condemn the Movement for Black Lives as un-American.


But Steele isn’t done, because, of course, she isn’t. Here’s what Steele told Dan Patrick about Charlottesville during his radio show, according to the Washington Post:

“Here’s the thing, when I turn on ‘SportsCenter,’ that’s not what I want to hear,” she said. “As a viewer, I want to see the highlights, I want to hear from Rich Hill. That’s what I want as a viewer, and that’s what I believe most viewers want when they turn to ESPN, is less of this.”

“I will always go back to why did people turn us on when Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann were hosting, and why are they turning us on now?” she said. “And in my opinion, it’s not to hear about Charlottesville. … We will have some opinions, the three of us, but I don’t believe it’s about us. It’s about the games, it’s about the highlights. Let’s show some standings. Let’s talk about what’s coming up tonight. I’m just old, I guess, old-school.”


Or, a self-hating black woman. Yeah, Steele is old-school, old-school like, “This is the best massa we’ve ever had so why do y’all want to leave?” old-school.

And, of course, Steele wouldn’t be Steele if she didn’t take a couple of swings at Colin Kaepernick. As the Washington Post reported:

“I just disagree with the whole premise of the issue that people have,” Steele said of Kaepernick’s unemployment. Ravens owner “Steve Bisciotti, along with the other 31 owners in this league, they run a business,” she said, “and they have a right to make the decision that they believe is best for their business, just like Colin Kaepernick has the right to express his opinion and do what’s best for him, for his brand, for his career. There’s repercussions to both. I have no problem with what Steve Bisciotti did and I would have no problem if Steve Bisciotti brought him in [to the Ravens]. How much of a problem did we have with Jerry Jones, with Greg Hardy over the last couple of years?

“You know, people pick and choose what they want to freak out about,” Steele went on, in comments that were picked up by Breitbart. “New York City yesterday,” she said, referencing the protests concerning Kaepernick. “I mean, go for it, that is your right. I think it’s comical. I think Colin Kaepernick, he would still be on the Niners if he were that good. Other teams would have picked him up. People need talent. There’s no question about that, right? If he were that good, someone would have picked him up.

“Or maybe he is, and these team owners, the PR staffs say ‘is it worth it?’ Because the fallout that comes with it—fans, suite luxury box holders—there’s a lot of money involved in that. And you have to consider all those things as a business owner. That is his right, to say we don’t want to really go there. And by the way, Ray Lewis back in ‘01, 2000, completely different time. More serious, of course—he was never convicted of that, and people forget that. Ray Rice, obviously things worked themselves out, as they should have, in my opinion. But we pick and choose, and I think it’s fascinating that oh this is a big deal, and this is not. They are business owners; they have a right.”


Which brings me to my final point: If Sage Steele truly believes that all of the current NFL quarterbacks are better than Colin Kaepernick, I question her abilities as a sports journalist.

I wish she would move over to Fox News with her positions, and where all the white men who share her politics can touch her hair every day.



Read more at the Washington Post.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



Wow. Another ESPNer, wishing that sports would just, you know, exist in a vacuum, outside of all those gosh-darn things that make people all frowny-face and upset. In other words, athletes should know their place, because fans don’t want to see them as anything but. I mean, fans don’t care about all that other stuff, which is why, for example, the greatest hitter that ever lived, and one of the most gentlemanly athletes we’ll ever know—Hank Freaking Aaron—nehvurr no-sir nope had to deal with death threats for daring to approach Ruth’s home run record!