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Left-wing journalist Keith Olbermann has offered to help ESPN management in its legal battle with Sage Steele, who is suing the Disney-owned company after she was benched for remarks criticizing vaccine mandates and former President Barack Obama.
Steele suggested on former NFL player Jay Cutler’s “Uncut” podcast that she was forced to get the COVID vaccine for fear of losing her job.
“I didn’t want to do it. But I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30 to get it done, or I’m out,” Steele told Cutler in September.
SAGE STEELE SUES ESPN, ALLEGES NETWORK VIOLATED FREE SPEECH RIGHTS AFTER SHE SLAMMED VACCINE MANDATE
In another instance, Steele spoke about wanting the option to fill out multiple races on the U.S. Census form instead of a single race.
“If they make you choose a race, she’s like ‘What are you going to put?’ And I go, ‘Both.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, you can’t,'” Steele said. “She goes, ‘Barack Obama chose Black, and he’s biracial.’ And I’m like, ‘Congratulations to the president. That’s his thing. I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found and his White mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you. I’m gonna do me.'”
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Steele filed a lawsuit against the famed sports network, claiming the network breached her contract and violated her first amendment rights by temporarily benching the anchor and forcing her to issue an apology.
DEADSPIN RIPPED FOR REFERRING TO ESPN’S SAGE STEELE AS ‘THE BLACK CANDACE OWENS,’ DELETING AND REPOSTING TWEET
But Olbermann, a staunch progressive who voluntarily left his own gig at ESPN to rail against former President Donald Trump on YouTube, has sided with the Disney-owned sports giant over his former colleague.
“Mark my words carefully: HOW CAN I HELP ESPN MANAGEMENT HERE,” Keith Olbermann tweeted in response to WSJ media reporter Joe Flint, who linked to an article discussing the lawsuit.
In a follow-up tweet, Olbermann appeared to try to do ESPN’s legal homework for them when he pushed back on the claim that the company “violated Connecticut law” and Steele’s first amendment rights based on a “nonexistent, unenforced workplace policy that serves as nothing more than pretext.”
“This part here is bull—-. This rule was enforced in every direction (and I agreed with it). Management once asked me to take down a tweet critical of the Philippines’ political Strongman Duterte. I mean…DUTERTE,” Olbermann wrote.
In a statement to Fox News, ESPN said, “Sage remains a valued contributor on some of ESPN’s highest profile content, including the recent Masters telecasts and anchoring our noon SportsCenter.” The network also said Sage was never suspended as a result of her comments.
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Steele is seeking unspecified damages, according to the Wall Street Journal.