Saturday, December 3, 2022

Michele Tafoya Dives Into Republican Politics Following NBC Sports Exit—And Teases Future Run

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Topline
A day after working her last Super Bowl as NBC’s sideline reporter, Michele Tafoya shared her next move: heading the campaign of a Republican gubernatorial candidate, a role fit for her increasing embrace of right-wing politics.

: Commentator Michele Tafoya looks on during Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and the … [+] Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Inglewood, California.

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Key Facts

Tafoya, a Minnesota native who worked for the last decade at NBC Sports, is the new campaign co-chair of Kendall Qualls, Republican candidate in Minnesota’s governor race, Qualls announced Monday morning according to the Star Tribune and Axios.

In an interview with The Athletic, Tafoya confirmed her new position and said she will also regularly appear on political talk shows, a widely expected move after Tafoya made controversial statements as guest host on NBC’s The View last fall.

Tafoya will appear at this month’s Conservative Political Action Conference and plans to interview outspoken NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom at the event, she told The Athletic.

Crucial Quote
Tafoya teased a future political run in her interview with The Athletic:  “I’ll say this — I’ve been asked multiple times to run for office in Minnesota…. But I just don’t know yet. Not at the moment. I will say not at the moment. A lot will depend on what transpires here over the next year.”

Key Background
In November, Tafoya co-hosted The View for two episodes, sharing her conservative views and drawing criticism for several comments she made, such as comparing Covid-19 to the flu and questioning the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. Tafoya missed three consecutive NBC Sunday Night Football broadcasts shortly after her appearances, though NBC said this was a planned absence. In December, the New York Post reported Tafoya will leave her role as sideline reporter following the Super Bowl, and NBC made the news official in January. Tafoya told The Athletic Monday her departure was her decision. The Hollywood Reporter speculated last month Tafoya could become a permanent co-host on The View, filling the show’s conservative seat left open by Meghan McCain’s exit.

Further Reading
Michele Tafoya steps away from sports broadcasting and enters political arena (The Athletic)

Michele Tafoya signs off from final Super Bowl with little fanfare, jumps into politics (Star Tribune)

Michele Tafoya to Work Final NFL Game for NBC Sports at Super Bowl LVI (Hollywood Reporter)

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