The most-honored national television sideline reporter in U.S. sports, Michele Tafoya, saw her NFL sideline reporting career come to an end after NBC aired Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
Tafoya’s sideline reporting career includes 327 games (301 regular-season contests, 21 playoff matchups, and five Super Bowls).
“My time with NBC Sports has been the most satisfying of my career,” said Tafoya in a statement. “Some may consider me crazy to walk away from one of the more coveted roles in sports television, and I do not doubt that I will miss many aspects of the job.”
Michele’s New Brand: Right-Wing
“But for some time, I have been considering other areas I would like to explore both personally and professionally,” she continued. “I couldn’t ignore that little voice anymore after what we have all endured over the last few years.”
In her next career move, she will reportedly be working for a Minnesota gubernatorial campaign, and Tafoya wasted no time revealing her true feelings about controversial hot topics.
Tafoya hit the right-wing media circuit less than 24 hours after retirement, joining “The Megyn Kelly Show” to discuss issues formerly off limits to the reporter.
Hitting The Circuit
Sharing her opinion on former NFL quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick, Tafoya expressed a tone-deafness that shocked many.
“If he really, really wanted — If the one thing he wanted in this life was to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, he’d be one right now, given that he had the talent,” Tafoya said on the show Monday. “But, he made some business decisions …
“I think he knew what he was risking, and I think that there are some legitimate complaints about race in the NFL and everywhere else in America — but that’s not why Colin Kaepernick’s not in the NFL.”
Meet The Real Tafoya
Tafoya also appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the purported teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in America’s schools:
“My son’s first best friend was a little African-American boy. They were inseparable. Get to a certain age, they start having what’s called an affinity group, which means you go for lunch and pizza with people who look like you. … At kids in school, there is a big, big focus on the color of your skin and my children. … Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters?
“Because to me, what matters is your character and your values. … I don’t care if I’m attacked. I really am not afraid of that, and I guess I feel like so many people now are afraid. Yeah. And I’m not. Listen, I know there are repercussions for whatever I choose to say. And I’ve talked to my kids’ school about it. You know, please don’t hold this against my kids. I’m speaking for me. I’m speaking for my family. But please don’t hold this against my kids.”
Hiding In Plain Sight
Tafoya’s sports media career began in 1993, including her time as the Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter for KFAN-AM (1994-98). She started with NBC Sports and Sunday Night Football in 2011.
In her first year with NBC, she was awarded the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter. After the 2013, 2018, and 2020 NFL seasons, she earned the honor again.
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