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ESPN host Sage Steele criticized for complaining about Trump airport protest

After hosting NBA Countdown on Sunday afternoon alongside Jalen Rose, ESPN host Sage Steele was making her way to Los Angeles International airport to catch a flight to Houston when she was caught up in a large protest of President Trump's executive order on immigration.

On Friday, Trump issued an executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The order led to migrants being detained at airports across the country, and in Philadelphia caused two families from Syria to be turned away and sent back home.

As a result, massive crowds protested the action at airports across the country on Sunday, including LAX, where Steele was attempting to catch a flight to Houston, where she'll spend the next week covering the Super Bowl.

Because of the size of the protest, Steele was forced to walk two miles to reach her gate, and ultimately ended up missing her flight.

Steele hopped on Instagram to vent her frustration at the crowd, saying she was sad so many protesters were happy with the disruption they were causing, adding, "Yes, immigrants were affected by this as well. Brilliant."

Steele didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Predictably, the post led to criticism on social media, with several sports reporters and television anchors joining the fray and questioning her comments.

Longtime Sports Illustrated writer and NFL network analyst Michael Silver was among the critics, telling Steele he had "tremendous respect" for her, but in terms of the protests, "Sometimes standing up for what's right provokes inconvenience and all."

"I'm going to be hard to convince on this one," Silver added.

SportsNet New York anchor Taylor Rooks also had a problem with Steele's comments, which the ESPN host defended:

ESPN and Fox Sports West reporter Julie Stewart-Binks also joined in, claiming Steele was missing the bigger picture:

Steele urged Steward-Binks to re-read her post:

This isn't the first time Steele has stirred the pot on social media. Last November, she criticized Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans for protesting the national anthem:

Steele later expanded on her thoughts about the various anthem protests that occurred throughout the league in a lengthy Facebook post.

"Instead of praising or uplifting each other, way too many people of color choose to tear down, mock and spew hatred at other blacks who feel differently, think differently, or make decisions that are different from theirs," Steele wrote. "That, my friends, is hypocrisy at its best. Or should I say, its hypocrisy at its worst."

Last year, ESPN ordered its employees to not make political statements during the U.S. presidential campaign, demanding they "refrain from political editorializing, personal attacks or 'drive-by' comments regarding the candidates and their campaigns."

The policy cost former Phillies pitcher Curt Schiling his job with the network, after he posted a negative meme about transgender people and North Carolina's controversial anti-LGBT law.

But Steele wasn't the only ESPN host to comment on the protests. ESPN baseball reporter Pedro Gomez retweeted several posts about the protests on Sunday, and responded to a follower who suggested he should avoid politics on his Twitter account.