Sage Steele, a well-known ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor who caused debate with her remarks about vaccine mandates, female sports writers, and former President Barack Obama’s racial identity, has left the network after reaching a legal settlement.

Steele, who joined ESPN in 2007, was removed from the network’s air in 2021 after her comments on political and social issues drew criticism. She apologized for the comments, but last year filed a lawsuit against the network alleging that it had retaliated against her over her remarks and that her right to free speech had been violated.

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Obama comments

She questioned Obama’s decision to identify as Black on the census.

“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,” Steele said.

Net Worth

Sage Steele has a net worth of $1.5 million.


Sage Steele is married to Jonathon Bailey. They got married in 1999 and have three children together.

COVID Vaccine Controversy

In 2021, Steele made a number of controversial comments on a podcast. While talking about ESPN’s company vaccine mandate, Steele said she respects an individual’s decision to get the Covid-19 vaccine “but to mandate it is sick, and it’s scary to me.”

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Steele also made comments about female sports reporters and sexual harassment, saying that women need to “be responsible” and it “isn’t just on players and athletes and coaches to act a certain way.”

She continued: “I’ve had talks with young women … they’re like, ‘Oh, would you look at my tape?’ and I’ve said listen, I would love to. But the way you present yourself is not something I want to be associated with. 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.”

In response, Steele apologized saying her comments “created controversy” and that “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.”


Steele is the daughter of Gary & Mona (O’Neil) Steele. Her dad is American and her mom is Irish-Italian.