Sage Steele Departs ESPN After Settling Lawsuit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Comments

After reaching a legal settlement with ESPN regarding her comments on the network’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Sage Steele, a former co-host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” made a significant decision in August: she would leave the network after dedicating 16 years of her career to it.

In a statement posted on her X account, Steele expressed her reasons for this choice, stating, “Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my First Amendment rights more freely.”

A Legal Battle Over Free Speech

The legal battle between Steele and ESPN began in 2022 when she sued the network and its parent company, alleging that her free speech rights had been violated.

This came after she was removed from on-air duties and high-profile assignments due to her criticism of ESPN’s and Disney’s vaccine mandate.

Steele’s lawsuit, as reported by the Associated Press, highlighted that despite complying with the mandate to retain her job, she had expressed reservations about it.

During an appearance on former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s podcast in September 2021, she conveyed her belief that a corporate vaccine mandate was “sick” and “scary in many ways.”

She disclosed that while she didn’t want to receive the vaccine, she did so to support her family and maintain her employment.

Facing Adversity and Finding Faith

Sage Steele recently shared her challenging journey, including how her Catholic faith played a pivotal role in helping her navigate through adversity.

Reflecting on the tumultuous period, Steele acknowledged, “I’ve said this a lot recently — I wouldn’t be standing today without my faith, which has become stronger than ever before.”

Her life had taken a challenging turn; she had gone through a divorce after a 20-year marriage and was dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic added further complications, as lockdowns and restrictions made life difficult for Steele and her three children.

She recalled those trying times, describing them as “brutal.”

When she spoke out against the vaccine mandate, she faced severe backlash and feared that her career was on the brink of collapse.

Additionally, despite being vaccinated, Steele contracted a severe case of COVID-19, which left her in poor health.

A Desperate Prayer

One night during her illness, Steele’s heart raced uncontrollably, prompting concern for her well-being.

Isolated from her children and with her parents unavailable due to her father’s cancer treatments, she faced a frightening moment.

She attempted to prepare herself to drive to the hospital but fell, realizing the gravity of her situation. Alone and vulnerable, she turned to prayer, desperately hoping to wake up the next morning.

Thankfully, Steele did awaken the next day, though she remained alone and unwell for over a week.

During this harrowing time, she found solace in her faith, remarking, “All I had was God.”

Trusting in her faith, she believed that God had guided her through numerous challenges in life, and she felt His presence lift her up, reinforcing her resilience.

A Renewed Purpose

Upon her recovery and return to work, Steele’s family offered her support and spiritual strength.

Before leaving for her first day back on the job, her father led a prayer invoking the protection of St. Michael the Archangel.

This moment proved transformative for Steele and her family.

With her departure from ESPN, Steele now faces an uncertain future, but she expressed excitement about exploring new opportunities.

She indicated a desire to conduct interviews with individuals from various walks of life, including Hollywood celebrities and those who have faced cancelation.

While her plans remain undisclosed, she views this transition as a blessing that allows her to be true to herself.

Sage Steele’s journey is one marked by resilience, faith, and an unwavering commitment to free speech.

As she embarks on the next chapter of her career, many await news of her future endeavors and the impact she will undoubtedly continue to make.

World News

TDPel Media

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