SJ - July 4, 2021
ESPN's Rachel Nichols has stepped in it big time. During the NBA Finals last year Maria Taylor was given the hosting duties and that didn't sit well with her.
In a video from last year, recently uncovered by the NY Times, Nichols is heard trashing the decision and suggesting that ESPN gave Taylor the role because she is black.
Nichols' comments have reportedly caused a ton of problems internally at ESPN.
From NY Times:
As the N.B.A. playoffs started in May, the stars of ESPN’s marquee basketball show, “NBA Countdown,” discussed whether they would refuse to appear on it.
They were objecting to a production edict from executives that they believed was issued to benefit a sideline reporter and fellow star, Rachel Nichols, despite comments she had made suggesting that the host of “NBA Countdown,” Maria Taylor, had gotten that job because she is Black. Nichols is white.
A preshow call with Taylor and the other commentators — Jalen Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jay Williams — as well as “NBA Countdown” staff members had turned acrimonious, and Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s president, had several phone conversations while at a family event to try to help smooth things over.
Some of those involved saw the initial maneuvering as a sign of the network favoring Nichols despite a backdrop of criticism from employees who complained that the sports network has long mishandled problems with racism. It had declined to discipline Nichols despite fury throughout the company over her remark, which she made during a phone conversation nearly a year ago after learning that she would not host coverage during the 2020 N.B.A. finals, as she had been expecting.
Rachel Nichols: “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else.” pic.twitter.com/aB5MifujuX
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 4, 2021
This isn't going to end well...
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