Sage Steele, star of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” anchor, is blaming the internet company and Disney’s parents for reasons that led to his arrest at the end of last year.
In the case, Steele is said to have been reprimanded for his comments about the company’s vaccination on Jay Cutler’s podcast last September, in violation of his contract and his right to free speech.
Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal also spoke about the case.
“Sage is still very supportive of ESPN content, combining recent Masters releases and setting up ‘SportsCenter’ in our afternoon,” ESPN said in a statement. “Of course, he was never stopped.”
An ESPN source told The Post that Steele would remain on the air in the case. His contract did not end “for a while,” a second source said.
“I work for a company that manages this and I had it until September 30 to do or leave,” Steele told Cutler, a former NFL quarterback who had spent 12 years playing for the Bears.
“I respect everyone’s decision, I do, but commanding is sickening and intimidating in many ways,” Steele said. “I’m not surprised that it has come so far, especially with Disney, I mean an international company like that.”
The lawsuit, filed in Connecticut, alleges that Steele was put on a bench by ESPN over allegations that the company forced him to apologize.
“On their knees, ESPN and Disney relied on the misleading statements they made, they knelt down and forced Steele to apologize publicly and suspended him for a while in October 2021,” the suit said.
The lawsuit also alleges that ESPN filed a lawsuit against Steele based on “the wrong accounts of others who spoke about Steele, and that the network did not monitor what was said here or how he did it.”
Although Steele had been out for a long time after being tested for COVID-19, the suit said the company used the words “isolate” and “rest” to describe its absence from the atmosphere and meant this. words like “euphemisms” for suspension.
The case cited various media reports claiming that Steele had been suspended, and said that “ESPN did nothing to disprove reports that it had been suspended or punished Steele for his comments, because the reports were true and because ESPN stood up for the public opinion. punished Steele for what he said. ”
It also alleges that he was retaliated for losing his job and that the network failed to prevent his colleagues from harassing and harassing him.
The court states that Steele was fired from his job such as conducting the NYC Marathon and the ESPNW Summit, an event he has held since 2010.
The suit cites a number of colleagues who criticize Steele on air or on TV. Steele allegedly sent ESPN chief Norby Williamson a tweet from SportsCenter anchor Nicole Briscoe, who “wrote a post from someone who said he hoped ESPN would no longer use Ms. Steele to cover women’s sports events, and Ms. Briscoe added,” Amen. (Even if it gets me in trouble.) Amen. ‘ ”
The suit said the tweet lasted three months later.
Ryan Clark, a former Steelers player, reportedly refused to appear in the air with Steele, and according to the suit he was not punished.
“ESPN violated his right to speak, retaliate, criticize, insult him, allow journalists and his colleagues to please him and force him to apologize because his views did not agree with Disney’s corporate ideology at the time,” he said. Attorney Bryan Freedman said in a statement. “Sage represents American companies to ensure that partners are not oppressed or that their ideas are closed.”
The ESPN court alleges that it “violates Connecticut’s laws and the right of Steele to free speech based on a misunderstanding of his views and in his absence, a coercive work ethic.”
The lawsuit alleges that Steele informed the HR company of their wrongdoing last February, following a letter from the lawyers.
Fortunately, several months after the Defendants did not hand over the sentence to Steele, after receiving his complaint and a letter from a lawyer, they offered him a chance to join the competition at The Masters Tournament by admitting his wrongdoing and a clear plan to take action. try to evade responsibility, ”says the case.
Steele, 49, has worked at ESPN since 2007. He currently co-sponsors the afternoon edition of “SportsCenter” with Matt Barrie. He represented “NBA Countdown” with Scripps National Spelling Bee.