Michelle Tafoya, who spent a decade as a sideline correspondent for NBC Sports’ “Sunday Night Football,” is ready for a new career that is likely to include right-leaning politics.
Tafoya said her farewell at the close of this year’s epic Super Bowl in February, but until recently, did not indicate what she plans to do next.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Tafoya indicated that she planned to pursue some sort of political career — either in broadcasting or running for office.
“I can’t tell you how many people tell me, ‘I’m just shutting my mouth, I don’t wanna get in trouble.’ Getting in trouble for something you believe in the United States of America? That is astonishing and scary,” she said, adding she wanted to be “part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
“I’m not afraid of many things, but that people feel afraid to speak, or share their beliefs, because there might be ramifications at their place of work, or within their social circles. That scares the hell out of me and I will fight that every step of the way for both sides,” .
“All the divisions in this country are factored into me wanting to try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” she said. “I was looking to get involved politically, socially, public service, that kind of thing. I wanted to change my direction. If I wanted to stay in sports television, I’d still be at NBC Sports.”
The network added:
Tafoya, who also worked at ESPN before her decade-long run at NBC Sports, feels conservative, and even moderate, political views aren’t typically represented in sports media. However, she has noticed that many liberals in the field are allowed to speak freely. She isn’t sure how this one-sided arrangement became the accepted norm, but suspects that corporate sports media organizations don’t mind promoting topics they consider “virtuous, kind, loving and liberal.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that at all, except when it excludes anything that might question some of the facts and motivations for those ideas, or those causes, or those thoughts. So in other words, it ends up being very one-sided and that there is no questioning,” Tafoya argued.
“We saw this so predominantly during the initial phases of COVID, if you questioned anything that was coming out of the CDC or the NIH, you were called names. You were called stupid. You were called a science denier,” Tafoya said. “For me, I call it being curious and wondering, do we really have every answer right now?”
“I appreciated that NBC wanted to protect its most prized property, which was ‘Sunday Night Football,’ and that they didn’t want to bring controversy to it. I understood that,” she said. “If I was going to go and tweet and post and all the things that were germinating in my mind, that probably would have brought controversy.”
The former sports broadcaster also knew inside that she would someday be freer to voice her opinions so she just kept them to herself and bided her time.
She also spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando last month and serves the co-chair of GOP candidate Kendall Qualls’ campaign for governor of Minnesota.
“I believe in this guy,” she said. “When I heard he was running for governor, I was all in.”