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NFL sideline reporter Michele Tafoya seemed to relish playing the role of The View’s resident right-wing heel on Wednesday, telling the daytime talk show’s live audience to “bring it on” after they groaned at her hot takes about former NFL star-turned-activist Colin Kaepernick.
Serving as this week’s token conservative guest-host on The View, Tafoya (who’s described herself as a “pro-choice conservative with libertarian leanings” in the past) drew quite a bit of heat throughout her brief stint at the table.
On Tuesday she clashed with moderator Whoopi Goldberg and co-host Sunny Hostin over critical race theory in schools, vaccine mandates, and racial progress in America. In one instance, after Tafoya said white people have helped improve race relations “since the Civil War,” Goldberg retorted that southern whites were “lynching people” not that long ago.
When Tafoya came back for round two on Wednesday, things once again grew tense when the panel’s “Hot Topic” segment revolved around Kapernick’s coming-of-age Netflix series Colin in Black & White. The show has already sparked controversy over a scene in which the ex-quarterback equates the NFL’s scouting combine to modern-day slave auctions.
“What they don’t want you to understand is what's being established is a power dynamic," Kaepernick says in the series. “Before they put you on the field, teams poke, prod, and examine you searching for any defect that might affect your performance. No boundary respect. No dignity left intact.”
Hostin, a prominent champion of Kaepernick’s who recently interviewed him for Ebony, said it was “not sort of totally unreasonable” for the former 49ers star to make the slavery comparison, adding that the majority of players are Black while most of the owners are white men.
Tafoya, who has taped videos for right-wing culture war website PragerU, said “no one forces these guys to play” and “comparing it to the slave trade was a little rough.” Furthermore, she waved off the notion that Kaepernick has been blackballed from the league over his racial justice protests, saying “I promise you” he’d be in the NFL if he could take a team to the Super Bowl.
The Kaepernick conversation would roll over into a second segment, with co-host Joy Behar wondering why the 34-year-old athlete is not currently working in the NFL.
“He’s taping a Netflix series,” Tafoya shot back.
“He’s not playing in football,” Hostin responded. “He’s still ready to play in football. He took a team to the Super Bowl. The reason he’s not playing is because other owners have colluded together.”
Tafoya, meanwhile, said they needed to “be really careful about that accusation,” prompting Hostin to note that the ex-quarterback reached a settlement with the league after suing them for collusion.
“He took a stand for other people and he lost everything because of the stand he took. There’s no owner in the NFL to this day who has the courage to take him back,” the View host continued.
“A lot of teams have tried him out, I will tell you, I know my stuff on this, too,” Tafoya fired back. “He didn’t lose everything, in fact, I’d say he gained a whole lot, a leader of the movement, a Netflix series, he's got Nike endorsements.”
The two would go back and forth a bit more over Kaepernick’s attempts to get back in the league, with Hostin bemoaning that he “lost the one thing he wants to do” only for Tafoya to reply, “You know, I don’t get to do what I want to do either.”
Hostin and Tafoya then disagreed over the reasons why Kaepernick nixed an open NFL tryout back in 2019, with the View host suggesting it was due to media access and a liability waiver he would have been forced to sign.
“I just want to give the benefit of the doubt to some people that there are two sides to this story. I think all of us can agree there's probably a lot to this story we still don't know,” Tafoya said, prompting audible moans from the crowd.
“Oh, you’re all gonna groan at me,” an animated Tafoya gleefully reacted, waving her arms in the air. “Bring it on! Bring it on!”
As Behar declared “that’s The View, honey,” Goldberg concluded by giving her interpretation of the audience’s reaction. “I don’t know. Maybe they feel that they saw what the big picture was and I think people didn’t like it,” she flatly stated before wrapping up the segment.