Sage Steele is suing ESPN on claims that the company violated her free-speech rights by taking assignments away because of comments she made last September.
On former NFL Quarterback Jay Cutler’s Uncut podcast, the ESPN anchor called vaccine mandates “sick” and “scary.” She also called it “fascinating” that former President Barack Obama identified as Black on his census form “considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found.”
According to Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal, Steele’s lawsuit claims that ESPN unjustly retaliated by temporarily sidelining her. The network insisted she was never suspended.
“Sage is standing up to corporate America to ensure employees don’t get their rights trampled on or their opinions silenced,” Steele’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, said in a statement.
As many people pointed out on Twitter, the First Amendment right to free speech doesn’t mean anyone can say whatever they want without having to ever face consequences. While Steele is entitled to her opinions, her employer can react to comments that they believe reflect poorly on the company.
I’d say the percentage of Americans who know what free speech is and understand the first amendment is 18%. https://t.co/jD688T7hw1
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) April 28, 2022
Ok…let’s go over how the first amendment works ONE MORE TIME https://t.co/4zp2hYsrHW
— Dan Kilday (@DanKilday) April 28, 2022
Love to see idiots waste their money because they don’t know what free speech means https://t.co/urKO5MCOHp
— Adam Wells (Steven Kwan Fan Account) (@adamwells1985) April 28, 2022
My constitutional right to face no criticism for my actions. https://t.co/BNmqgWYGzH
— Frank Dale (@fwdale) April 28, 2022
Why do people think free speech means you can say whatever you want without any repercussions? https://t.co/fdKlFNDkgL
— Chris (@TrashTweetsOnIy) April 28, 2022
she never really did live up to her first name https://t.co/I2ifvyWqeW
— Steve Ferra (@AbPow) April 28, 2022
Steele’s lawsuit nevertheless claims she wasn’t speaking for her employer on a podcast unaffiliated with ESPN or Disney. It also alleges ESPN violated Connecticut law by punishing an employee for expressing their First Amendment-protected rights.
The post Sage Steele Is Suing ESPN: Sports Media World Reacts appeared first on The Spun.