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ESPN’s Sage Steele Criticized for Saying Airport Protesters Disrupted Her Travel Plans

January 30, 2017, 9:17 PM UTC
2013 espnW: Women + Sports Summit
Photograph by Joe Scarnici—Getty Images

The lives of refugees seeking sanctuary in the United States were thrown into chaos this weekend when President Donald Trump issued an executive order forbidding them from entering the country. But it seems that refugees weren’t the only ones negatively affected by the immigration ban; Sage Steele missed her flight to Houston.

On Monday, the ESPN anchor posted a lengthy Instagram post describing her experience getting to Los Angeles International Airport. “Thousands of us dragged luggage nearly 2 miles to get to LAX, but still missed our flights,” she wrote. “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.” Steele added that “immigrants were affected as well.”

The post was seen by many on social media as being tone-deaf to the disruption in the lives of the refugees who had been indefinitely detained at airports around the country. “Some things are bigger than [you],” wrote one user.

Steele’s response was simply to point out that she is entitled to her own opinion.

The executive order that was issued Friday suspended the entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked U.S. entry for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries for at least 90 days. Over the weekend, more than a dozen petitions on behalf of individuals being held at airports were filed. By Sunday, federal judges in New York, Massachusetts, Washington and Virginia had issued orders blocking authorities from deporting travelers.

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