ESPN’s Sage Steele came out and declared what we already knew was going on… that ESPN should be more focused on sports and less on politics. Steele is set to be the new co-host of SportsCenter AM starting August 28 and has stated that she plans to bring focus back to sports…
“People come to us for their sports,” she told the New York Postthis week, so “for the most part” all the political and social talk should be left to the news networks. “Not everybody agrees with me on that,” she said, adding, “That’s my personal opinion, that [sports are] where we go to escape.”
“People don’t watch SportsCenter to hear about Charlottesville,” she told Dan Patrick on Thursday, referencing all the political and racial fallout after the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally that turned deadly. While there are certainly “crossover” topics involving both sports and politics that make sense to discuss, she suggested, for the most part the show needs to stick to covering sports.
When Patrick brought up the humiliating “Robert Lee” story (which has sent ESPN into a panic), Steele used it as an example of exactly what she does not want to talk about. “Here’s the thing, when I turn on SportsCenter, that’s not what I want to hear. As a viewer, I want to see the highlights, I want to hear from Rich Hill. That’s what I want as a viewer, and that’s what I believe most viewers want when they turn to ESPN, is less of this.”
Amid a series of terrible business decisions, almost all of which have resulted in the promotion of left-leaning political and social commentary, ESPN has made one great decision: it’s kept Steele and let her voice her unorthodox view, so far. If the network wants to turn its fortunes around, it should start listening a bit more to the likes of Steele.