The so-called “Black Twitter” social media movement reacted with jubilance after the news got out about Sage Steele (pictured) getting demoted at ESPN.
Steele, 44, was formerly the host of NBA Countdown, one of ESPN’s most highly-rated pre-game sports shows. According to the Washington Post, Steele was axed from her position as the show’s host and replaced with Michelle Beadle, a co-host on ESPN’s Sports Nation. Steele will remain with ESPN as a sports reporter, but her role will be more limited.
“Steele will continue to appear on “SportsCenter on the Road,” as the company announced last fall, and will have what the company said in October would be an expanded on-site presence at events such as the Masters, World Series, Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff, and College Football National Championship,” wrote Cindy Boren, a Washington Post columnist.
Steele hasn’t made things easy on herself over the last several months. The biracial sportscaster has been very critical of the black community, in particular. Many people have labeled her as a “sellout” and “Uncle Tom” due to some of the statements she has made both publicly and on social media. Steele called out several professional black male athletes for refusing to stand for the National Anthem during pregame ceremonies.
However, there was one antic on Twitter performed by Steele in late January that kind of served as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“And let’s not forget that time people protested the Muslim ban and Steele was super annoyed, and not because the ban was totally xenophobic and f**ked up; she was mad because she was going to miss her flight,” wrote Stephen A. Crockett Jr., a Senior Editor at The Root.
Black Twitter seemed to enjoy the news about Steele being demoted at ESPN. “So Sage Steele has been buck dancing and cooning for the past 2 years and STILL got replaced by a white woman,” tweeted Gabriel Bell.
Pressure to discipline Steele for her culturally insensitive antics came about recently after social justice groups threatened to boycott ESPN, The Grio reported Tuesday (April 4th).