Rev. Al Sharpton was ripped by former ESPN host Sage Steele after he came to the defense of Claudine Gay, calling her resignation as president of Harvard University an “attack” on all black women.
“I just wish he would go away,” Steele told Fox News host Jesse Watters, referring to Sharpton.
“Almost every time Al Sharpton speaks, I get angry because Al Sharpton pretends that he knows what every single person of color in this country thinks, believes how they should live, how they should act, how they should vote,” she said.
Steele was voicing her ire at the civil rights activist’s Tuesday statement, where he wrote: “President Gay’s resignation is about more than a person or a single incident. This is an attack on every Black woman in this country who’s put a crack in the glass ceiling.”
Steele said Gay faced criticism for issues of her character — how she handled antisemitism on campus and plagiarism accusations, not because she is a black woman.
The former ESPN host admitted she didn’t have “much sympathy” for Gay.
“Remember Martin Luther King, Mr. Sharpton?” Steele said during the interview. “I think you do judge me by the content of my character, not the color of my skin. What happened with Claudine Gay? There are some character issues, which is why she was forced to step down.”
Gay announced her resignation as the head of the Ivy League school Tuesday afternoon. She will remain on the faculty at Harvard.
Steele pointed out that Harvard condemned racist attacks Gay is now facing in its letter to the community, “as they should.”
“Any racist attack should be denounced,” Steele said. “What about Claudine Gay herself when she was asked how many times by [Rep.] Elise Stefanik, ‘Is it wrong? Do you denounce any antisemitic comments, any about the genocide of Jewish students on your campus?’ And she couldn’t even answer that. Clearly, she refused to answer it.”