Michele Tafoya, who handled the poolside interviews for NBC during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and scheduled to do so again for the Olympic Games, has shut down her Twitter account on Sunday after a heated debate with fellow television personality Franchesca Ramsey.
Tafoya, who has shifted gears from her usual role as an NBC football sideline reporter, exchanged Tweets with several users on Twitter on Sunday morning, including Ramsey who is both a writer for the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central and the host of the show Decoded on MTV.
While Tafoya’s Tweets have been deleted along with her deactivated/closed account, the conflict appears to have been launched in the aftermath this morning’s killing of 3 police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and specifically with regard to so-called “white allies” during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s movement for racial equality in the 1950s. Tafoya Tweeted out a photo of Dr. King marching alongside white protesters, and after receiving a response from Ramsey, the conversations spiraled beyond the initial picture with Tafoya accusing Ramsey of being angry and Ramsey accusing Tafoya of being condescending.
Portions of Tafoya’s contribution to the interaction were still available through various archives. At one point, Ramsey Tweeted:
sis. acknowledging that white people opposed MLK does not erase the existance of white allies during the civil rights movement @michele_tafoya
To which Tafoya responded:
I would respectfully ask, then, that you clarify that. Your original tweet suggests otherwise.
Before signing off, Tafoya sent multiple Tweets expressing her frustration with social media, including:
Sadly, respectful conversations are rare on Twitter. Sadly, things will get misconstrued. Sadly, this makes people want to stop talking.
I hope that people will continue to try to reach out to others. I’m going to keep trying. No one ever said healing would be easy.
Other users joined Ramsey in disagreeing with Tafoya via Twitter, including one Tweeter going by the moniker “Mr. D” who said of Tafoya that “it’s like she’s in denial of the white resistance,” referencing the assassination of Dr. King by a white man. Tafoya said that those accusations left her “astonished.”
We have reached out to NBC for comment on the matter and to see whether or not Tafoya can be expected back on Twitter in the run-up to the Olympic Games. The opening ceremonies are fewer than 19 days away. We have not yet received a response from NBC, but will update our readers if we do.
Before closing her account, Tafoya had nearly 40,000 Twitter followers.