ESPN's Sage Steele pulled off air after knocking company's vaccine mandate, comments on Obama's race


ESPN's "SportsCenter" host Sage Steele is being pulled off the air following remarks she made knocking her employer's vaccine mandate as well as comments made about former President Obama

"At ESPN, we embrace different points of view — dialogue and discussion makes this place great. That said, we expect that those points of view be expressed respectfully, in a manner consistent with our values, and in line with our internal policies," the network told Fox News. "We are having direct conversations with Sage, and those conversations will remain private."

ESPN'S SAGE STEELE SLAMS NETWORK'S ‘SICK,’ ‘SCARY’ VACCINE MANDATE, SAYS SHE GOT THE SHOT BEFORE DEADLINE

Steele also issued her own statement provided to Fox News by ESPN apologizing for her remarks. 

"I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. 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 said. 

Steele, who also tested positive for COVID, is set to return on-air next week. 

ESPN's Sage Steele pulled off air after knocking company's vaccine mandate, comments on Obama's race

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 09: Cisco Chief Technologist Chintan Patel and TV personality Sage Steele during a panel discussion at SXSW on March 9, 2018 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Cisco Systems, Inc.) (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Cisco Systems, Inc.)

Last week, on former NFL player Jay Cutler's "Uncut" podcast, Steele suggested she was forced to get the COVID vaccine or jeopardize her employment. 

"I didn’t want to do it. But I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30 to get it done or I’m out," Steele told Cutler.

LAKERS' LEBRON JAMES SAYS HE RECEIVED COVID-19 VACCINE: ‘I THINK EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN CHOICE’

"I respect everyone’s decision, I really do, but to mandate it is, um, sick," Steele said. "And it’s scary to me in many ways. But I have a job, a job that I love, and frankly, a job that I need, but again, I love it. I’m not surprised it got to this point, especially with Disney, a global company… but it was actually emotional."

In another exchange, Steele spoke about filling out the U.S. Census form and how she expressed wanting to include multiple races instead of just one. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"If they make you choose a race, she's like ‘What are you going to put?’ And I go, ‘Both.’ And she's like, ‘Well, you can’t,'" Steele said. "She goes, 'Barack Obama chose Black and he's biracial.' And I'm like, ‘Congratulations to the president. That’s his thing. I think that's fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found and his White mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you. I'm gonna do me.'"

Disney, which owns ESPN, announced July 30 that it would implement a company-wide vaccine mandate for all salaried and non-union hourly employees, giving their staff 60 days to comply and that "all new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated before beginning employment."