Former ESPN anchor Sage Steele left the network this week after settling a free speech lawsuit, saying she wanted to exercise her First Amendment rights more “freely.”

And she did that Thursday in her first interview since parting ways with the Disney-owned company on “The Megyn Kelly Show” on SiriusXM. 

ESPN removed Steele from the air in 2021 after she made controversial comments about vaccine mandates, former President Barack Obama’s ethnicity and sexism in sports on the “Uncut with Jay Cutler” podcast.

Kelly played clips of the podcast for Steele during the two-hour interview.

“I haven’t watched that in a long time because obviously there’s been so much ugliness that has come from that podcast as a whole. And those comments, my comments, and by the way, I own everything. Every single thing I said, I would say it again today, and I still believe it,” Steele said.

Steele, who worked at ESPN for 16 years, talked with Kelly about what she says is “hypocrisy” at the network when it comes to speaking out on current events and political issues and her decision to fight back. She said there were different rules for her than for everyone else.

“Listen, all I ever wanted was consistency. And if we are allowing my peers to go on social media, much less on our own airwaves, saying things that are — that have nothing to do with sports, that are political, that are not true quite often ... then I should be allowed on my personal time to give my opinion on my experiences, personally, without telling others what to do or how to feel about being biracial or being forced to take a vaccine. “

On Cutler’s podcast in September 2021, Steele questioned Obama’s decision to identify as Black on the census, saying, “I think that’s fascinating considering his Black dad was nowhere to be found, but his white mom and grandma raised him, but hey, you do you.”

Obama wrote a book about his Black father not being there, Steele told Kelly.

“I’m pretty sure that my white mom was there when I was born, you’re damn right, I’m going to identify as white as well as Black. I am so blessed to be loved equally by my white family as well as my Black family,” Steele said.

Steele’s father, Gary Steele, was the first Black varsity football player at West Point. Her mother, Mona Steele, is white.

She said she has been called racist and a sellout for identifying as biracial, “which is amazing because most of the hatred comes from people who look like me.”

Steele said she refuses to be quiet about it anymore. 

“If I had said, ‘I’m a Black woman, don’t call me biracial,’ I would have been celebrated. But because I chose to honor my mother as well ... the good thing is I don’t care anymore because this is my experience.”

ESPN, sports anchor part ways after settling free speech lawsuit

On Cutler’s show, Steele said she respects people’s decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine but to mandate it is “sick,” adding that she wasn’t surprised Disney would require it. Steele, who did receive the vaccine and a booster, said she didn’t want to lose her job.

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“I complied. I got it. I got the booster in order to go to the Masters a couple months later. Like, I did everything. But I’m allowed to have an opinion, I thought,” she told Kelly.

“I am a mother of three. I am a single mother of three. Their father is, is here, and he is a wonderful father, but I’m a hundred percent the breadwinner. And I knew that I had no choice. And I sat in that car and I was disgusted with myself for caving.”

Steele apologized for her remarks on Cutler’s podcast — something she says she did not want to do — but sued ESPN alleging it retaliated against her for her comments and violated her free speech rights.

“I fought, and I fought, and I begged, and I screamed. And I was told that if I want to keep my job, I have to apologize,” she said. “And I need my job. ... I knew that there was a line somewhere, I just didn’t know what it was until it was crossed.”

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