In Lisa Guerrero’s new memoir, Warrior, the journalist reveals she suffered a miscarriage on live TV. For nearly 20 years, Guerrero has stayed quiet about the traumatic experience. Now, the acclaimed journalist is opening up about how the tumultuous period affected her personal life.
Suffice it to say, 2003 was not an easy year for Guerrero. At the time, the former LA Rams cheerleader was just getting settled into a dream job as a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football.
“I wanted to be the Barbara Walters of sports,” Guerrero recently told People. While it was a huge step for Guerrero’s career, it turned out to carry devastating consequences.
As Guerrero now reveals, late in the season, she suffered a miscarriage while on-air. At the time, MNF was pulling in a weekly audience of 40 million people, meaning Guerrero gritted her teeth and suffered through the agonizing experience in front of a national audience.
“I was dizzy and nauseated but reminded myself to stand up straight,” the reporter wrote in an exclusive excerpt shared with People. “The pain was excruciating. I heard myself mispronounce a player’s name and knew I’d hear about it later. As soon as I finished, I raced off to interview a coach. Then I headed to the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet, I couldn’t believe the blood pouring out of me.”
According to the journalist, she was somewhere between eight and twelve weeks into her pregnancy.
“It never occurred to me to tell anyone. It never occurred to me that maybe I should have gone to a hospital or, at the very least, sat out the rest of the game. The only thought that crossed my mind was that I could get through the rest of the game as long as I buttoned up my long winter coat. That way, no one would see the blood. It was as if I were on autopilot. Get back on the sideline.”
As Guerrero explained in her book, her miscarriage was just the climax of an arduous battle she’d been fighting that entire season. At the time, Guerrero was being pummeled by horrible, misogynistic taunting from various men in the media.
“I was trying to be Barbara Walters while all these radio sports-show guys were trying to be the next Howard Stern,” Guerrero explained to People. “They did it for sport—just eviscerating me constantly and talking about my breasts and sexual acts and how I probably was able to get all these big athletes to talk to me.”
In the days before social media, radio disc jockeys were the biggest trolls out there, and, in 2003, they had their sights set on Guerrero.
“There was an ugly misogyny running rampant through sports radio airwaves—and I was their perfect target,” she wrote. “To them, I was the worst. I was everything that was wrong with sports. I alone had set women back decades. They’d attack my clothes, hair (why was it so long?), even my nail polish (how dare I wear red—I must be a whore!).”
The backlash became so palpable, so unavoidable, that the network ended up letting Guerrero go after a single season. Because of the torment, Guerrero never felt comfortable telling anyone about the miscarriage.
“I was a shell of myself,” she told People. “I felt such shame and embarrassment that the last thing I was going to say is, ‘Oh, and by the way, I just had a miscarriage.’ Most of my best friends will learn about it by reading the book.”
While Guerrero describes a nightmarish situation, her feelings about the matter are all too familiar. Too often, women blame themselves after suffering a miscarriage. They’re often filled with shame and feel like they failed in some way. At the same time, society tells them that these matters shouldn’t effect their ability to function in day-to-day activities when they absolutely do.
Still, Guerrero insists she doesn’t blame anyone in particular for what happened. However, she does think that the stress contributed to her miscarriage. “I don’t blame one person for this. The miscarriage wasn’t because of [Guerrero’s boss], and it wasn’t because of one radio talk show host or one bad column. It was a culmination of the entire season of negativity and cruelty. It was really cruel.”
What she does want people to take from her story is that bullying has real, painful consequences. “Somebody is the target of that. Somebody feels that,” she told People. Guerrero’s memoir, Warrior: My Path to Being Brave, hits shelves on January 24, 2023.