Lisa Salters Makes History As Longest-Tenured Sideline Reporter In MNF History| Black Women Setting Standards

(Photo: Screenshot/ESPNPR Video)

Lisa Salters continues to blaze a trail and smash barriers for women in sports media.

Since joining the Monday Night Football broadcast in 2012 as its primary sideline reporter, Salters recently reached the 10-year milestone, completing over 150 assignments.

She says she couldn’t have imagined she’d still be doing this 10 years later:

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would never thought 10 years later I would still be doing it. I was at home and got a call from my boss Vince Doria, and he said, he would you be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”
She added, “Suzy Kolber was one of the first people that I called, to make sure she was cool with it because she had been the sideline reporter.”

Salters is the definition of Black Girl Magic. The way she reached out to Kolber upon becoming the sideline reporter is nothing short of class personified. Her rise to stardom is a credit to her hard work and dedication to her craft.

Salters Has Done A Little Bit Of Everything At ESPN

Salters covered her first MNF game in a 2012 matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. She says that first night is a blur at this point.

“I remember being extremely nervous, but other than that it was all a blur, I don’t even remember who won the game. I had to look it up to find out the Ravens won pretty convincingly.”

Salters has been more than just a sideline reporter for MNF. Her bag of talents is deep. She also worked as a sideline reporter for NBA coverage. She spent a huge bulk of the NBA season inside The Bubble working as ESPN’s top sideline reporter. 

Joining the likes of Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy as ESPN/ABC top announcing team, Salters represents a legion of women who have aspirations to ascend to the highest levels of covering men’s sports. She will be back for the 2021-22 season’s marquee matchups and the 2022 NBA Finals.

Salters is passionate about sports and being a familiar face to millions of sports fans makes the gig even sweeter.

She says her biggest challenge has been interviewing Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. You never know how he’ll react to a question, especially after a loss. 

“It is very nerve-wracking, I never think of Pop as trying to make you look bad. The key is to never take it personal because it’s just Pop being Pop. But you just know he’s gonna be kinda snarky. So you’re doing your job, but you’re also saying I don’t wanna get embarrassed on live television.”

Salters has also co-hosted an award- winning E60 film.

Salters’ Incredible Career Spans Over 30 Years

Following a solid basketball career at Penn State, where she’s still the shortest player in school history (5’2), Salters broke into the media world upon graduation. She landed her first job in Baltimore at WBAL-TV, and had the distinct honor of covering the famous OJ Simpson trial in the 1990s. She transitioned to full-time sports after landing at ESPN in the 2000s.

ESPN, The NFL and NBA are lucky to have someone of her caliber.


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