Tags: pam oliver | erin andrews | fox sports | nfl

Pam Oliver on Erin Andrews Replacing Her: I Was 'Humiliated'

Image: Pam Oliver on Erin Andrews Replacing Her: I Was 'Humiliated'
Pam Oliver, Fox Sports' primary NFL sideline reporter. (Duncan Williams/CSM/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 05 Sep 2014 12:28 PM

Pam Oliver said this week that, while she was "humiliated" when she was replaced by Erin Andrews as Fox Sports' primary NFL sideline reporter, she's in a much better place today and wholly rejects the notion that race played a role in her demotion.

Oliver, 53, broke her long silence about the move in an essay published by Essence magazine online Wednesday in which she revealed that she had a feeling there was about to be a shakeup long before it actually happened.

"Two years earlier, Fox Sports had hired Erin Andrews, a high-profile sideline reporter from ESPN, and I knew they hadn’t brought her on just to be a benchwarmer," Oliver wrote. "Colleagues, and even coaches and players, would come up to me and say things like, 'Boy, you're handling this well. You're really a class act.' But I let the rumors roll off my back. Without official confirmation about a change in my position, I decided I was going to do my work like I always had. Still, I was humiliated."

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Fox bosses met with Oliver in April to finalize the change, which would see her move over to secondary channel Fox Sports 1 to work on special programs. But she fought tooth and nail to get a final 20th season on the sidelines, something her bosses eventually granted, albeit with one caveat.

"Eventually my bosses agreed to give me a final year on the sidelines, but they told me I’d no longer be working with the network's 'A' crew (which includes seasoned announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman)," Oliver wrote. "I thought I'd handled it pretty well, but when I left the restaurant, I got into my car and noticed my hands were shaking. I was like, 'Okay, that hurt.'"

In the piece, Oliver, who is African-American, rejects race as motivation for the move but did acknowledge that Fox was trending younger, adding that all the network's new hires were "young, blond, and hot." She did praise Andrews, however, saying that she was "very capable" as a sideline reporter and her popularity in social media made her "sought after."

Andrews was equally as complimentary of Oliver in July when news broke of her promotion.

"There's nobody I've watched more over these past 15, 20 years than Pam Oliver," Andrews said of Oliver, according to Us Weekly. "How she worked tirelessly day in and day out and really set the standard for women and sideline reporters and so much more than that."

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Pam Oliver said this week that, while she was "humiliated" when she was replaced by Erin Andrews as Fox Sports' primary NFL sideline reporter, she's in a much better place today and wholly rejects the notion that race played a role in her demotion.
pam oliver, erin andrews, fox sports, nfl
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2014-28-05
Friday, 05 Sep 2014 12:28 PM
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