Michele Tafoya Exits NBC Sports, Dives Into Republican Politics

Michele Tafoya has just exited her role as NFL sideline reporter and has already revealed her next move — heading the campaign of a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

According to multiple reports, Tafoya is the new campaign co-chair for Kendall Qualls, a Republican candidate in Minnesota’s governor race. She confirmed the news in an interview with The Athletic, saying that she will also be appearing regularly on political talk shows as well as be making an appearance at this month’s Conservative Political Action Conference. 

Tafoya caused a stir in November when she co-hosted “The View” for two episodes and shared her conservative views. At issue with viewers is that Tafoya compared COVID-19 to the flu while questioning the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Shortly after, Tafoya missed three NBC Sunday Night Football broadcasts, leaving many to wonder whether her appearances on “The View” and her controversial statements were linked with her sudden absence. Despite speculation, NBC said it was a planned absence, according to Forbes

In January, NBC officially announced that Tafoya would be leaving her role as sideline reporter following the Super Bowl after working for NBC Sports for a decade. Speaking with The Athletic Monday, Tafoya said it was her decision to leave. 

“This is all my decision. Everyone at NBC will back me up on that. They have always told me I can stay as long as I want. For me, I have to make my move while I’ve still got the energy to do other things and have an impact. I don’t want to wait,” she said. 

“I got to a point in my life where I wanted to try other things, and there are some things that are really important to me,” she added. “But in my position, I was not as free to be as vocal about world events that I’m concerned about.”

Tafoya also teased a possible future political run during the interview. 

“I’ll say this — I’ve been asked multiple times to run for office in Minnesota…. But I just don’t know yet,” she said. “Not at the moment. I will say not at the moment. A lot will depend on what transpires here over the next year.”

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