Apparently, ESPN President John Skipper had seen enough and defended Steele in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
"Sage has done a wonderful job for us in a number of important roles," Skipper said. “As previously announced, her SportsCenter presence has grown and this week alone she has led our coverage from the men’s Final Four and the Masters. Sage definitively has a bright and long-term future at ESPN and my complete support."
Skipper and others at ESPN appear to be particularly irked by the fact that many celebrated the move as a firing. While nobody at ESPN has publicly stated why the network made the decision so late in the NBA season to change hosts of NBA Countdown, Steele has appeared prominently on the network’s Masters coverage this week and also as the lead host of SportsCenter on the Road.