Why would Emmy-award-winning sportscaster Michele Tafoya walk away from her successful television career? PragerU presents Tafoya’s account in its latest “Stories of Us” video.
Tafoya discusses the highlights of working in the sports journalism industry, the struggle to start her family, and why she refuses to apologize for her values.
Raised in Manhattan Beach, California, as one of four children, Tafoya discussed the strong upbringing that taught her to value hard work and personal responsibility. She recalled watering the neighbor’s plants from the age of 11 and getting a paper route two years later.
After studying journalism in college, Tafoya found a gig on sports talk radio in Charlotte, North Carolina, and later landed a job with CBS Sports before joining ESPN. After working with the network’s NBA crew, she became a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football and later moved on to NBC.
The success did not come without adversity, as Tafoya revealed a series of miscarriages before giving birth to her son. Their family then adopted a daughter who needed open heart surgery.
As her family grew, so did her concerns about her freedom.
“Outside of that world, I was paying attention to politics, to policy, to where we stood on the world stage of history. I really started reading a lot of history. And there was a lot of perspective to be gained,” Tafoya said. “And I realized I wanted to preserve the freedom and the liberty in the beauty that is America, for my kids, for the future.”
Tafoya said she could no longer keep silent “the more divisive things” got and grew frustrated between 2016 and 2020. Despite her respect for Sunday Night Football and NBC, she knew she needed a change.
“I knew that if I said anything too controversial, it would reflect on those entities and I didn’t want to do that. So if I wanted to speak I had to leave,” she said. “My freedom to speak meant more to me than staying in that job.”
Tafoya considers herself one of the luckiest people in the world to do what she did, but she said there was something bigger in her future. She has since started her own podcast, called “Sideline Sanity,” to use her voice to make a difference.
The former sports media personality said she will not be “canceled” and will continue to speak up. Tafoya challenged people to “find your courage and use it.”
“I’m not going to apologize for my values, because I’ve looked at them really closely and I know they’re wholesome and they’re good,” she said.