Michele Tafoya, who has been with NBC for a decade and spent a great deal of time as a sideline reporter for its NFL broadcasts, will no longer perform her duties in that role allegedly due to comments she made about former NFL star quarterback Colin Kaepernick, media outlets are reporting.
Fox News reported that the "apparent decision" comes several weeks after Tafoya's appearance on ABC's The View, which she contradicted Kaepernick's previous comparison to the NFL draft and training camps as slavery.
In a discussion with The View's Sunny Hostin, Tafoya, 56, asserted that playing in the NFL was an act of free will. "No one pressures them," she said. "They are not forced to go the NFL.
"I thought comparing it to the slave trade was a little rough. ... These guys enter willingly. They are the most well-cared-for people. Yes, they play a hard sport and every one of them—Black, White, Latino, whoever's playing the sport—will tell you how much they love it and they're willing to do it. They make a [expletive] good living."
Hostin countered that most NFL owners are white men and most players are Black. "That comparison that he makes to slave owners and slaves is not, so of, totally unreasonable or out of bounds," Hostin said.
Hostin said that it was the league's white owners who were preventing Kaepernick from continuing his NFL career after the 2016 season, when he initiated pre-game kneeling protests of racial injustice during the playing of the national anthem. When Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season, he became a free agent, and no NFL team signed him afterword.
Fox News reported that sports analyst Bill Simmons had drawn attention to Tafoya's absence from the sideline earlier this week.
"She was in the conservative seat (on The View)," Simmons said. "Then, a couple of weeks later, all of a sudden, just on a bye [from NBC]. Taking a break."
NBC's coverage of the Super Bowl in February is expected to be Tafoya's last appearance on the sideline for NBC, The New York Post reported.
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