I’m a fanatical football fan. And I’m also a huge fan of Pam Oliver.

For nearly two decades, I’ve watched Oliver talk football on Fox television I’ll miss her sideline analysis, real-time insights, and conversational halftime interviews with the NFL’s top players. I watched with pride as Oliver, a skilled African-American journalist, excelled in a cutthroat profession dominated by white men.

All television assignments ultimately come to an end, but when news broke last week that Oliver, 53, the No. 1 sideline reporter for Fox NFL coverage, will be replaced after 19 years by Erin Andrews, a 36-year-old blonde, some folks immediately wondered if Oliver’s hair controversy contributed to her demotion.

I’m not up on hair trends, but I do know that critics on social media can be cruel. Some have compared Oliver’s hairstyle to Chewbacca, the wild-haired alien in the movie “Star Wars,” and others frequently took Oliver to task for looking disheveled on live national television.

I don’t know if criticism of Oliver’s hair concerned executives at Fox, but I did find it hypocritical that some Black folks who were scolding Oliver for her hairstyle are now criticizing Fox for replacing Oliver with Andrews.

Some have questioned if race played a role in Oliver’s move from the sidelines. It’s no secret that male executives prefer younger women on-air and Fox officials no doubt wanted Andrews because she’s 17 years younger than Oliver. Still, Oliver looks great for 53, despite the hair controversy and she’s a known entity to both viewers and players.

Others insist that Oliver’s demotion is a Fox misstep on the issue of diversity. But does Fox really care?

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55 thoughts on “Was Race, Age or Hair The Reason for Pam Oliver’s Demotion?

  1. sports are retarded anyways who really needs so many commentaters and people coverring a game the dumbass fans just got done watching are sports fans that retarded that after watching something they need 15 different people telling them what they just watched lol

  2. why is it always about race yeah she was replaced by a younger blonde but did u take a look at the blonde they replaced her with she looks like conan the barbarians daughter so leave race out of it maybe she wanted to leave after 17 years who knows until u know the whole story stop with the what ifs and the maybe’s grow up people maybe she just had enough of the shit after 17 years and her contract was up so she said peace out yo.

    • seriously on said:

      Instead of telling people to “grown-up”, you should “read up”. Her contract was extending 3 years it is debatable whether or not this was a demotion. Which was actually part of the title of this article…Damn if you had to sign a contract to free yourself from slavery, your dumbass would still be picking cotton, Dayum read, read, read…It will set you free!

  3. seriously on said:

    I think since they renewed her contract and her only true critics was other black women. Clearly FOX has a better opportunity for her, and it is good to see that age and hair it not a factor.

    If I was Ms. Oliver I would not address the hair and critics from black women, their voice doesn’t matter anyways. And continue be to the women of substance that you are…..I wish you the best in your new endeavors….

  4. Guest on said:

    I agree Erin Andrews was horrible on College GameDay. Her voice is like scratching nails on a chalkboard. Sadly men are allowed to look old with bad hair BUT a woman better be naked on the web, blonde and dance well to keep her job into her 50s!!!!! I was watching CBS This Morning thinking how old they look. Would Gayle really keep her job if she didn’t know Oprah???? Charlie Rose is 70 and should be GONE! At least the chemistry has improved when Gayle isn’t making stupid/snobbish comments which show her age!!! My child had an ESPN interview last year (was flown to Bristol) and although a black female HBCU grad got the job my child wasn’t upset when she talked to people about how top heavy ESPN is and only ex famous athletes have REAL careers there (others hired to cater to them)..OUCH!!!!

  5. I’m going to take a different track here. If FOX was unhappy with Ms. Oliver, they wouldn’t have renewed her contract for another 3 years. Perhaps FOX is trying to develop nightly or weekly NFL program to compete against what ESPN and The NFL Network produce, and they see Ms Oliver, with her depth of knowledge, mature beauty and personal contacts as an asset for this programming. Do I only want to see Ms. Oliver on FOX’s game of the week, or would I rather see her on a weekly basis 52 weeks a year? Just food for thought.

  6. Raleigh Delesbore on said:

    I don’t need your assessment of the play, the catch, the Home run, the stolen base, the slam dunk, I just saw it on the idiot box. You don’t need to tell me what just happened. commentators are not necessary. I turn down the volume just so I don’t have to listen to a post game interview,

  7. Okay FOX Sports you are going to replace Pam? At the very least you can find someone as talented with as much insight as Pam had. Andrews is nothing more than eye candy and her arrogance drips from her pores. As talented as Andrews may be doing a nightly sportscast, she sucks as a sideline reporter. She sucked on ESPN College Gameday and she sucks now. If you are going to replace a talent like Pam O at least get a step up not a step down.

  8. Eternallegs on said:

    IF Pam was removed because of her hair that really was a DUMB move because even that issue of the hair drew viewer attention. Isnt attention a ratings blessing? It’s ashame that someone can maintain a job for 19 years and still be treated the way that she is being treated. It’s HARD to earn an honest living these days.

  9. Kswagger on said:

    This is flat out bullsh*t no doubt after 19yrs you just up and replace her? I hope all the people who made fun of her feel some kind way if this is what cemented them icing her. We need to be careful what we put out on social media peeps it’s real out here. We already are struggling to get ahead of the game. DAMN

    • Eternallegs on said:

      “We already are struggling to get ahead of the game.”<—-You said it Kswagger. My thoughts exactly. I even commented about it being hard to earn an honest living. CAN'T catch a break.

  10. This is Definitely because of age!! I don’t know who these executives are kidding. I saw this coming when Andrews started doing in studio interviews a few years ago. I feel a lot of sadness for Pam because in my opinion, she is the best in the business. Shame on the soul-less shameless Matrix looking look a likes who did not have the decency or respect to let Pam finish her 20th season. I will really miss you Pam!! God Bless you.

  11. Johnny Jedkins on said:

    We all know that it was race in some ways it is discrimination. Pam is black Erin Andrews is white. Why are we so surprise. Until we all come together as one and protest those who do discriminate against us things will never change.We need to hit them where it hurts in their wallets do not patronize them.

    • Good grief! It were all about race, they could have had a white girl doing the job all along. It was just time for a change. Hell, they she could have held that job until she dropped dead, and people like you would still be hollerin’ about racism when her replacement turned out to be white. Stop with the race baiting already. It’s gotten really old.

      • ROSCOE on said:

        WELL SAID KAY- Enough with this race card and take care of all the killings in Chicago. Kids are being slaughtered and no one is doing anything. Where is your fake GOD Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. Oh that;s right, no money to be made there!!

  12. There is an amazingly easy solution to this if we actually wanted to solve this, Players could simply tell Erin Andrews that they are sorry but have already promised Pam Oliver first exclusive interview when interviewed by Ms. Andrews.

    • That may work, except for the fact that the players really don’t give a s**t about anything except getting paid to play football. This really is a non issue.

  13. Thatmanbolt on said:

    The days are complaining by black folks are over. Just look at Fox News. They don’t care who complains! They don’t even have a Asian woman on air! Just take your money some place else!

  14. Davey Houston on said:

    IN MEDIA, IT’S ABOUT YOUNGER, PRETTIER, SEXIER AND ON AND ON. ALSO, IT’S FOX. THE HAIR THING WAS FUELED BY MOSTLY BLACK FEMALES HATING …….THEY WERE THE RACISTS IN THIS CASE.

  15. oh lord, here comes another race card again….. instead of all these speculating maybe you should just call up Pam’s old boss and see if you can get an explanation why Pam’s demoted….

  16. Wow! I am sad to see her leave from the sideline! I always wanted her job when she was done and had left on her own! I don’t think her time was up! I will look forward to her high-profile interviews though.

    I was a big Erin Andrew fan when she was on College Game Day but haven’t been a fan of her’s lately! Wonder how things will go once football gets underway!

  17. elisabeth on said:

    I would like to see how the african american players will react on the sidelines.. umm .. that could give Fox something to think about if they refuse to interview with Erin unity anyone????

  18. Replacing Pam Oliver with a scuzzbucket like Andrews is a major no-no. Oliver is one of only two female sports journalists who are understandable and make sense when they speak. Andrews is,like,trendy,you know? and growls when she speaks like a fourteen year old girl. YUCK! How about some maturity in sports? BRING BACK PAM!!!

  19. chris on said:

    the change isn’t so much racist as it is sexist. pam is a woman but she was first and foremost a professional, her sex nor race mattered. now they have barbie doing the job, the move is for appeal; i think they didn’t need it but it is what it is.

  20. hadley bushgill on said:

    sideline reporters are a waste of time whether they’re female , male,, blonde or brunette, I’d rather watch commercials than listen to their blather

  21. Steve on said:

    It was her own people always talking about her appearance openly. The criticism reached the corporate offices and they acted. Pam did her job well, very well.

    • Yes Steve lots of Black people can be very critical, and judgmental of other black people. The thing that gets me is that criticism comes as though everyone in the world is tall, dark, and handsome, or in a female’s case… stacked, with REAL long flowing hair. Listen up peeps…..most people in the world are AVERAGE LOOKING….EVERYONE ISN’T BEAUTIFUL. Look in the mirror.

  22. Raymond Arkus on said:

    Pam Oliver was the best in the business at what she did and she will be missed. She actually has in depth knowledge of the game and players. She presented herself very well. Hair and other trivial stuff mean nothing. I hope she rebounds and does well in her new role.

    • Tony on said:

      Well, after 250 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow and 40 years of redlining with economic repression, it can always be about race with us.

  23. Jenny on said:

    Why does EVERYTHING have to be about race?! Maybe there was more to this story going on behind the scenes that the public isn’t privy to. Just seems like immediately everything has to turn to a race issue.

  24. redbone1954 on said:

    I do like Pam Oliver but every picture that has been posted of her recently she looks like she is mad why is that???? and it makes for a bad opinion of her I kniow she will fai well in her new endeavor Good luck Pam you will be missed on the sidelines!

  25. I for one don’t watch the game for either the commentators or the sideline reporter. With that said, I think this will work out very well. I can’t stand Buck or Aikmen so I’ll be more than happy to watch the game with the audio turned down with a streaming radio feed from the team I’m rooting for.

  26. Brett on said:

    I am a white, conservative male who watches a good bit of sports, and enjoys both college and NFL games. Pam was a great sideline reporter, and seemed to get better at her job as the years went on. The reporter/female news selection process is ridiculous. As you age, or as demographics/demand would prefer a younger, blonder, or “latin” girl, your job is eliminated. Pam loses out and the viewers who aren’t looking for a pretty face, but are looking for decent content lose out as well.

  27. I think Pam did a great job on the field and in the booth. She has become quite knowledgeable in the NFL arena, although she should try and stay out of the way of flying footballs I always enjoyed seeing and hearing her on the weekend, hope she stays on.

  28. It’s a shame, I liked her. She will show up somewhere else. But to blame it on color, age, or hair is shitty. Was Dan Patrick let go for that reason. Contracts, ratings, new management, or just changing things up are usually the real reasons. Who says she is the number 1 reporter, what about the Goose? Being black is not a crime or an excuse.

  29. seriously on said:

    Reporters are replaced all the time and if black folks are so upset, well if was you and again black females who started in on her hair and everything else. Geez, I thought black females were suppose to be strong and united, sounds more like weak, pathetic, envious and very small. But females in general in journalism as they get older are replace moreso than the men…And with the backlash by black females over this women hair and dress, clearly you are just as judgemental as the men on youth and beauty…So you cannot complain…If there is any justice in this, these black women will be fired from their jobs as old, ugly, overweight, unweavable hair maybe? I guessing it will not be that funny to them then. Other than that, perhaps these complaining could do something for once in the life that is right STFU

  30. Unfortunately, everyone wants fresh bread (not that Ms. Andrews is real fresh, nor as talented in my opinion) these days. Miss Anadrews apparently, is the flavor of the month. I don’t think that race is the reason (although some folks like to use that anytime the people are of a different skin color). i think what we need to do is to write Fox Sports and start a campaign to get our lady back on the sidelines. I think she is prettier, more knowledgeable, and her voice is nicer to hear while she is interviewing folks on the sideline. I guess Pam should drill a hole into the adjoining hotel room and ask Aikman to look through to see what he can see for publicity. What do I know? I’m just an ol redneck who actually enjoys football on Fox with Pam letting me know what is going on down there during the game. Pam is worth the effort, I just don’t know how to go about it.

  31. Erin Andrews is younger and still pretty hot. That’s it. That’s all. There’s no need for fifty comments on this one.

    It’s shallow and pathetic and probably isn’t the decision I would make. But it happens all the time.

      • Erinsuckstoo on said:

        When does any sideline reporter have diehard fans? These women are expendable. Anyone can ask the dumb questions they ask on the sidelines so they want a pretty one that guys will tune in to ogle after.

      • That’s the bottom line Erinsuckstoo. Nothing complicated about it. No need to get the NAACP involved.

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