With the NBA playoffs around the corner, ESPN is making a trade of its own.
Longstanding commentator Sage Steele is being replaced with Michelle Beadle as full-time host on NBA Countdown on ABC and ESPN.
ESPN announced that Beadle will now host the pre-game and halftime shows on ABC as well as the studio shows throughout the entire NBA Playoffs. She’ll also continue to co-host SportsNation alongside Marcellus Wiley Monday through Friday.
Steele may be stepping down from her NBA playoff post, but she’ll continue to appear on “SportsCenter on the Road,” a segment that the company announced last fall.
Steele has had her share of controversy at the Bristol-based company which began at last year’s All-Star game. She abruptly ended her interview with Arcade Fire’s Win Butler after he began to voice his political opinion.
Then she was once again drawn into national anthem controversy when Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel before each NFL game began last season. She even tweeted Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Evans.
Then, she voiced her opinions again the end of January, when President Trump enacted an executive order on immigration which led to mass confusion at airports around the country.
She posted a photo on protestors at Los Angeles International Airport on Instagram, because it disrupted her travel plans
So THIS is why thousands of us dragged luggage nearly 2 miles to get to LAX, but still missed our flights. Fortunately, a 7 hour wait for the next flight to Houston won't affect me that much, but my heart sank for the elderly and parents with small children who did their best to walk all that way but had no chance of making their flights. I love witnessing people exercise their right to protest! But it saddened me to see the joy on their faces knowing that they were successful in disrupting so many people's travel plans. Yes, immigrants were affected by this as well. Brilliant. 🇺🇸
While there’s no inkling that Steele is leaving the network, but her role is surely being lessened.
SOURCE: Sporting News