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Cari Champion: Sage Steele ‘Clearly Has Issues With Women’

“That’s dumb. I don’t have any other eloquent way to say that,” Champion responded when shown the clip.

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Media outlets outside of sports were paying attention to Sage Steele’s comments last week on Jay Cutler’s Uncut podcast. The SportsCenter anchor made headlines for controversial comments about ESPN’s vaccine mandate and Former President Barack Obama’s racial identity.

On Tuesday, ESPN announced that Steele would be off the air for at least a week. The move was supposedly a response to her comments, but the network also noted that Sage Steele has been diagnosed with Covid-19. That would keep her out of the studio during that same time frame anyway.

CNN welcomed Cari Champion to New Day on Wednesday to talk about Steele’s comments. In an interview with Brianna Keeler, Champion said that the comments weren’t surprising to anyone that knows Steele. Champion added that it didn’t mean that they weren’t harmful.

Champion described Steele as an inspiration for plenty of minority women in broadcasting.

“I think a lot of people, regardless of her experience or how she chooses to identify, looked up to her as the brown girl at ESPN,” Champion said.

While Champion did not like what Sage Steele had to say about the former president, she said that Steele’s comments about the way she views other women in sports media are what really bothered her.

Steele said that she has refused to help young, female reporters in the past based on what they were wearing in the video they sent.

“So, when you dress like that, I’m not saying you deserve the gross comments, but you know what you’re doing when you’re putting that outfit on, too,” Steele said on Uncut. “Like, women are smart, so don’t play coy and put it all on the guys.”

“That’s dumb. I don’t have any other eloquent way to say that,” Champion responded when shown the clip.

She said it was clear that Sage Steele has “issues with women.” Cari Champion added that Steele’s comments were particularly disappointing because it makes things harder for women in a business already dominated by men. The industry forces women to compete with each other in a way men don’t have to.

“There’s this mentality that there can only be one. [Sage Steele] upholds that in so many ways.”

Sage Steele and Cari Champion were both at ESPN from 2012 until Champion left last year. While they worked on opposite sides of the country, both anchored SportsCenter beginning in 2015.

Sports TV News

Bob Iger Reportedly Wants To Buy Phoenix Suns

“Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.”

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ABC/Disney

Should the NBA’s Phoenix Suns come up for sale, it appears there’s at least one person potentially interested in buying them. That is former Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The team’s current majority owner, Robert Sarver, is being investigated by the league based on a detailed ESPN report that alleges Sarver created a toxic working environment within the franchise. The report cites incidents where Sarver exhibited racist or misogynistic behavior.

The league investigation is being spearheaded by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Like former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was eventually banned for life from the league after video showing him using racist language surfaced, Sarver could be forced to sell his ownership stake.

Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.

Media reports say what makes Iger an appealing candidate is his connection to the commissioner and the commissioner’s office while with Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC. Both television brands are NBA broadcast rights holders.

The franchise’s current co-owners can turn down any potential buyer, and the league does have a formal sale process. So, it’s likely the team would sell for north of $2 billion if it hit the open market. That would likely require Iger to bring in ownership partners to make the sale happen.

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Sports TV News

Colin Cowherd Lets Listeners Decide If He Ever Talks About Baker Mayfield Again

“I am no longer captivated by Baker Mayfield topics.”

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Colin Cowherd has been a critic of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield ever since he was drafted in 2018, but Cowherd may be out of the Baker Mayfield business going forward.

The Fox Sports host put up a video on Twitter about his feelings on Mayfield, and gave his fans of the show a rare opportunity to control some content that he talks about on the show.

“I was watching Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson play on Sunday Night, and Lamar had four picks, and still won, I thought he was fascinating. Didn’t play well but I thought he was fascinating, and I thought, Baker is easily the second most interesting quarterback in this game,” said Cowherd. “He is 28-28 as a starter, I was clearly right about the argument, I am no longer captivated by Baker Mayfield topics.”

That led to Cowherd putting up a Twitter poll and leaving the decision about how to proceed in the listeners’ hands.

“People ask me why I still talk about Baker, and I thought you know what, you are right. That is why I am going to let you decide whether or not I talk about Baker ever again. At 8:30 Pacific I am putting up a poll on Twitter which will decide whether or not I talk about Baker going forward.”

Cowherd then said that if the poll says that he should stop talking about Mayfield, that he will be done regardless of the circumstances.

“If he goes on a 5 game win streak, he gets to the playoffs, the AFC Championship, the Super Bowl, I won’t be talking about him, you can’t have it both ways.”

The results of the poll showed that the fans no longer wanted Cowherd to talk about Mayfield, a result which seemed to be the obvious choice considering how often his name comes out of Cowherds mouth.

It remains to be seen whether or not Cowherd will honor this going forward. If the Browns were to make the Super Bowl I find it extremely hard to believe that it won’t be a topic on his show, but it will be good to hear no repetitive Baker Mayfield talk for at least a little while from him.

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Sports TV News

An NBA Manningcast With JJ Reddick & Draymond Green?

“I would be honored to sit in a room with a GOAT like yourself and talk basketball.”

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With the overwhelming success that the Manningcast has been for Monday Night Football, other leagues and networks are looking to replicate ESPN’s and the Manning Brothers’ formula.

There may be some willing hosts for an NBA version of the show in JJ Redick and Draymond Green. Redick joined Green’s new podcast The Draymond Green Show on The Volume to talk about a potential partnership between the two in the future.

“I know you got a lot of basketball left in you, but a lot of people have said to me you and Draymond need to do a version of the Manning brothers Monday Night Football when Draymond is retired. Just keep that in mind when you retire in 5 or 6 years,” said Redick to Green.

Before answering, Draymond Green noted that he had recently been a guest on the Manningcast. Not only did he like the experience, he said it is now his favorite way to watch Monday Night Football.

Green liked the idea of teaming with Redick. He said that the duo play very different styles of basketball. That would give the listeners two very different perspectives on the game.

“I would be honored to sit in a room with a GOAT like yourself and talk basketball,” Green added. Redick ended the conversation about a potential alternate NBA feed by saying “We’ll make it happen.”

This would not be something new for the NBA to do. They are already trying out the idea of an alternate cast of NBA broadcasts with Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson on NBA League Pass.

As Redick stated, it may be a while until we see Draymond Green retire from his playing career in the NBA, but when he does I am sure that he will be a hot commodity in the sports media world.

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