Two weeks following her public announcement to separate from ESPN after settling a lawsuit, Sage Steele is lauded as “a symbol of courage.” Her departure came with her intentions to exercise her First Amendment rights without constraints.

Steele, an experienced broadcaster, accused ESPN of violating her contract due to remarks she shared in a podcast interview from September 2021. In that conversation, she critiqued parent company Disney’s vaccine directive and voiced concerns about former President Barack Obama labeling himself as Black rather than biracial.

The support rallying behind Steele’s candidness about the network’s perceived inconsistencies includes advocates like Riley Gaines and Enes Kanter Freedom.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Kanter Freedom expressed admiration for Steele’s audacity. The ex-NBA player, recognized for his advocacy for human rights, emphasized how prevalent “cancel culture” has become in sports. He observed that this atmosphere deters athletes from freely expressing their opinions.

Highlighting Steele’s significance, he referred to her as an exemplary figure for those in the sporting domain aiming to voice their thoughts.

Gaines, once an NCAA swimmer, has been at the forefront of the women’s rights dialogue, especially concerning transgender athletes’ participation with biological females. She acknowledged Steele’s bravery as a motivating factor in her own journey. “In multiple sectors, be it sports, academics, corporate scenes, healthcare, or religious communities, there’s a dearth of individuals ready to champion what’s right. Sage stands out in this respect. She’s a guiding light for me,” Gaines remarked.

She further expressed her reservations about ESPN’s handling of women’s sports, suggesting she’d have left had she been employed there.

During a conversation with “One Nation” host Brian Kilmeade, Steele opened up about her 16-year tenure with the network and her eventual decision to leave. For years, she chose silence, fearing backlash, but reached a point where she couldn’t overlook the issues. “Recognizing my boundaries became clear when they were breached,” she admitted.

Discussing her legal battle and departure, she stated, “Despite my love for the job, standing against the organization meant sacrificing it. The prospect terrified me. However, I was determined to overcome that apprehension. I had to confront the situation rather than remain muted.”

ESPN, in an earlier response, simply stated, “ESPN and Sage Steele have mutually decided to part ways, acknowledging her invaluable contributions throughout her time here.”