Sage Steele has been booted from ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” show just a week before the playoffs.
Critics online have been celebrating Steele’s removal. She’s received a great amount of backlash over the last few months over multiple comments she’s made regarding the black community, politics, and most recently the Muslim ban that she says made her miss her flight.
ESPN has recently issued guidelines that are aimed to limit political commentary from their on-air talents unless it connects to sports. Steele being cut from the show was likely due to that, as both announcements were made on the same day.
“We have the convergence of a politically charged environment and all these new technologies coming together at once,” Patrick Stiegman, chair of ESPN’s Editorial Board, said in a blog post. “Based on that, we wanted the policy to reflect the reality of the world today. There are people talking about politics in ways we have not seen before, and we’re not immune from that.”
Steele, who’s been with the company for over a decade, is still employed by ESPN and will still lead ESPN’s “SportsCenter on the Road,” as announced months ago. Michelle Beadle will replace Steele on ‘NBA Countdown.’