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Sage Steele Needs To Chill

Sage Steele was once considered a darling among many Black sports news watchers.

Sage Steele was once considered a darling among many Black sports news watchers. Bright eyed, articulate and kinda cute, it was great when she first got down on ESPN back in 2007. Because, quite frankly, there weren’t many sisters representing in sports, let alone on a major cable news network.

It was only 10 years ago when she first debuted on SportsCenter and began hosting NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC just three years ago. Her accolades and credentials are not to be trifled with, nor is her American pedigree – the daughter of Gary Steele, the first brother to play varsity football for Army, and Mona, a woman of Irish/Italian descent.

However, despite having the DNA of three groups of people who have faced discrimination in this country at some point in history, Steele has a very loose, palsy-palmed approach to grasping issues of racial and ethnic sensitivity. She constantly reminds us that every Black or Brown face doesn’t necessarily know what it is to be Black or Brown in America.

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Many were quick to pounce on her comments admonishing NFL wide receiver Mike Evans for his decision to protest institutionalized racism faced by people of color in America.


One would have thought that after that colossal screw-up that she would know better than to say anything that would be even remotely misconstrued as being anti-diversity or anti-protest. But on this particular occasion she did both.  


It seems as if she was perturbed at her most recent travel “hassle” that stemmed from protesters addressing the “Muslim Ban” at LAX on Sunday.

No one is expecting every American to be cognizant of every struggle, but a journalist with as many credentials on the books as Steele should know when to run her mouth.  We have heard the term white privilege uttered extensively over the last few years when speaking on how some folks, mostly white, are immune to having to worry about race in America.

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However, there is a privilege of class as well.  In the case of Mrs. Steele, that privilege appears to have her feel put off by being slightly inconvenienced due to protests as a petition to change, which is very American, and the unconstitutional “Muslim Ban” that has affected legal immigrants carrying passports and visas from seven Arab countries over the weekend.  


Class privilege and white privilege go hand in hand in America.  Because of capitalism and the idea of upward mobility, individuals from all walks of life feel they have earned their way to a position of whiteness via high annual income and celebrity status.  

This privilege affords them the false security of ignoring the plight of others because it does not directly affect them. This is the type of thinking that allowed the current “President” to slide into the White House.

Once again, Sage Steele’s cluelessness marks her as being in a growing majority suffering from similar mental roadblocks in American. Sorry that you had to be inconvenienced at the airport, especially at the expense of life, liberty and justice for all.   

Starting his career as lead writer for EURweb.com back in 1998, Ricardo A Hazell has served as Senior Contributor with The Shadow League since coming to the company in 2013. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the South China Sea Morning Post, the Root and many other publications. At TSL he is charged with exploring black cultural angles where they intersect with the mainstream.