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ESPN anchor Sage Steele suing network over free speech claims

Sage Steele
Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 16:40:32-04

ESPN anchor Sage Steele is suing the network because they violated her right to free speech by sidelining her last year for controversial comments she made on former Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's podcast.

USA Today reported that Steele filed the lawsuit Thursday in Connecticut.

According to NBC News, while on the podcast "Uncut with Jay Cutler," which aired Sept. 29, 2021, Steele complained about ESPN's COVID-19 vaccination policy, calling the mandate the company had in place "sick."

She also questioned former President Barack Obama's racial identity.

The Wall Street Journal reported that her controversial comments drew criticism, which led the network to force her to apologize. She was also suspended last October, the suit alleges.

ESPN denies suspending the SportsCenter anchor.

Steele also alleged the network never corrected reports that she was suspended because it “stood to benefit from the public perception that it had punished [her] for her remarks."

She said she didn't do anything wrong in her lawsuit, and the First Amendment protects her comments.

She is seeking damages due to lost revenue and business opportunities.