A conference on race took place at The Crossing Church in Tampa Bay, Florida, last week. The forum, titled “Under Our Skin,” attracted sports figures such as Super Bowl champion Tony Dungy, former player Ben Watson, and current ESPN anchor Sage Steele.
The forum’s purpose was to “discuss the intersection of race and faith in America today.”
That topic certainly received plenty of coverage at the conference. More notable, however, is how no one in the sports media covered what was actually said there.
Sage Steele, who is biracial and in an interracial marriage, stated that black people should look at themselves before putting blame on others. She also said that the worst racism she’s experienced has come from black people.
According to the Daily Wire Steele said, “There are times that I believe that we, as African-Americans, can be hypocritical, and that is to not look ourselves in the mirror when we are saying certain things and blaming other groups for one thing when we are doing the exact same thing.
“The worst racism that I have received [as a biracial woman married to white man], and I mean thousands and thousands over the years, is from black people, who in my mind thought would be the most accepting because there has been that experience. But even as recent as the last couple of weeks, the words that I have had thrown at me I can’t repeat here and it’s 99 percent from people with my skin color. But if a white person said those words to me, what would happen?”
The hate Steele refers to here, stems from an incident when she complained about protestors demonstrating against President Trump’s travel ban. The protests delayed flights, created mayhem for travelers, and played havoc with the travel plans of Steele and millions of other people just trying to go about their business.
For daring to complain about these obstructions, Steele was viciously attacked online, not only about what she said but also racially, with many questioning her racial identity.
Not to minimize the great and powerful comments made by Watson and Dungy at the conference, because they also said very positive things about race and how faith fits into how black people, and all people, should treat each other, and those comments are worth your time, but here you have Sage Steele, a biracial woman in the sports media making powerful statements of accountability and race. Yet, these comments receive virtually no play anywhere in the sports media. The overwhelming majority of sites that reacted to the conference were political or faith-based.
Why? If Steele had gotten up there and blamed the police for the plight of black people in America or income inequality, or if she had said the worst racism she ever experienced came from white people trying to make sure she doesn’t get “too big for her britches,” does anyone doubt that story wouldn’t have gotten national headlines? Or, at the very least, gained the lead spot on a few notable sports sites?
It didn’t, of course, because Sage Steele’s story doesn’t fit the PC-obsessed narrative of the sports media, a narrative which states racism only comes from white people and any attempt to promote accountability among black people makes you Hitler.
And people wonder why ESPN loses 10,000 subscribers a day.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn