Veteran ESPN anchor Sage Steele has announced her departure from the network after a 16-year tenure, citing her desire to exercise her First Amendment rights more freely.
The announcement comes in the wake of a recent round of layoffs at ESPN, which included several prominent on-air personalities such as Suzy Kolber, Todd McShay, Max Kellerman, Jeff Van Gundy, and Keyshawn Johnson.
Steele, renowned for her long-standing role as an anchor on “SportsCenter,” revealed her decision via social media platform X (Twitter).
Sage wrote: “Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my First Amendment rights more freely. I am grateful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am excited for my next chapter.”
Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely. I am grateful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am excited for my next chapter!#SteeleStrong
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) August 15, 2023
The 50-year-old anchor’s departure follows a legal dispute with ESPN and its parent company, Disney.
Last April, Steele initiated a lawsuit against the network, claiming that her removal from the airwaves in 2021 was in retaliation for her critical comments on topics such as the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and former President Barack Obama.
Steele argued that her contract was breached and her right to free speech was violated. Sage said she settled her case in her tweet.