It’s All in the Wording

Updated: Nov 1

—By Giulia Nichols

Photo credit: https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/sage-steele-covid-espn-1235081535/

According to a USA Today article (https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/media/2021/10/05/sage-steele-apologizes-comments-espn-vaccine-mandate/6002984001/) Sage Steele, an ESPN broadcaster, apologized on Tuesday for statements she made several days ago against the ESPN mandate for COVID-19 vaccines.

These comments were made on the podcast "Uncut with Jay Cutler" which explained to Cutler, a retired quarterback for the NFL, what she thought of Disney's COVID-19 vaccine rule. In a later statement, Steele said, "I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it's more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully." I agree with Steele's decision to express her opinions against the vaccine; however, I think she could have worded them differently. Steele described the vaccine mandate as "sick" and "scary.” It probably would have been best for her to use more appropriate words to describe it, such as "unnecessary" or that it made her feel "uncomfortable.” According to The Hofstra Chronicle, “As a result of her actions, Steele has been reprimanded by ESPN. She has been suspended from ESPN programming, and on top of everything, Steele tested positive for COVID-19 the same day she got her vaccine.” Another reason she should have avoided the specific comments she made is to prevent the risk of losing her job, even if it is for a period of time. This is if she would not want to lose her job and or trust with the company. Losing her job or being disciplined in another way by ESPN, could further affect her reputation if her comments have already been looked at negatively. She might still likely get another job in communications, but she might be remembered by at least some people for her statements. Because I agree with her remarks, and although I think they could have been a little less harsh, I think she should still be allowed to work at her job. I do not think she committed a severe act, but it is understandable that ESPN is not happy with what she did.



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