Former SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele could go from covering the sports arena to standing in the political one.
Political news outlet Daily Ructions was the first to report that “Republican leaders and donors in Washington and Connecticut” would like to see the former ESPN talent enter the 2024 election race in Connecticut’s fifth district.
The New York Post says it confirmed that exploratory conversations have occurred regarding the political hopes. Meanwhile, when the Indianapolis Star reached out to Steele for comment, she said “No comment on this … but I appreciate you asking.”
Those unnamed Republicans want to see Steele run against Democrat Jahana Hayes, who is currently in her third term representing Connecticut’s fifth district since 2019. When first elected, Hayes became the first black Democratic House member from Connecticut. She narrowly defeated Republican state senator George Logan in 2022 for her second re-election.
Steele officially left ESPN last month after settling the lawsuit she brought against the company for allegedly violating her free speech rights. The network removed her from the air for one week in 2021 after controversial comments on a podcast in which she criticized ESPN’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and questioned former President Barack Obama’s decision to call himself black.
Since leaving ESPN, Steele has been on a whirlwind conservative outlet tour, making stops on The Megyn Kelly Show, Fox News, and others, as well as speaking with the Alabama football team. She has also been a very outspoken critic of transgender women competing against other women in sporting events, even before leaving ESPN, which drew condemnation from many corners.
Steele hasn’t previously made any overtures about a political career, but she’s done enough to establish herself as a name in conservative culture war circles. We’ll have to wait and see what she decides to do with that.