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Sage Steele got her COVID-19 vaccine ahead of ESPN's mandated deadline, but only because she wanted to keep her job. The SportsCenter anchor voiced her frustration with the policy on Wednesday's episode of the Uncut With Jay Cutler podcast.
"I got my shot today," Steele told Cutler. "I didn't want to do it, but I work for a company that mandates it and I had until September 30th to get it done or I'm out."
The sports commentator continued, "I respect everyone's decision, I really do, but to mandate it is sick and it's scary to me in many ways. But, I have a job. A job that I love, and frankly, a job that I need, but again I love it. I just — I'm not surprised it got to this point, especially with Disney, I mean a global company like that."
Steele, who has been at ESPN for nearly 15 years, said "it was actually emotional" getting the vaccine — but not in a good way.
"Everybody else has their 'Yay look, here's my [vaccine] card' ... You wanna see what my face looked like when I had to do it?" she continued. "I get it to an extent, but I think the mandate is what I really have an issue with. I don't know what comes next, but I do know for me personally I feel... defeated."
Steele added that she has no problem with mask mandates, but said "it's another thing" to force the vaccine on people.
The anchor has made headlines over the years for her conservative opinions. At one point, Cutler called Steele "the Candace Owens of ESPN," which she found amusing.
"Wow, I respect the hell out of Candace Owens," Steele said of the conservative pundit. "Whether you agree or not, she doesn't give a crap what you think."