SJ - July 16, 2020
An ESPN employee secretly filmed Rachel Nichols have a private phone conversation in her hotel room in the NBA's Disney Bubble. The anonymous employee then reportedly sent the videos to other ESPN employees before they made their way to Deadspin.
Instead of posting the the content of the phone call or the video themselves, Deadspin pointed out the fact that whoever recorded the phone call might have actually broken the law.
Late Tuesday night, an anonymous party sent a Deadspin reporter four videos, which appeared to be a cell phone recording of a video feed, that shows ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, host of the afternoon NBA show The Jump, in a phone conversation with an unidentified man about personnel matters at the network.
Nichols (whose face never appears on camera) and the other party to the call discuss Nichols’ career, ESPN staff, and the World Wide Leader’s decision about who will host the network’s coverage of the NBA Finals. In light of privacy concerns and our being unable to view the entirety of the conversation recorded, we have chosen not to detail the conversation or post the video of the call. Sources have told Deadspin that the entire video of Nichols’ conversation was 30 minutes long. Deadspin received about four minutes of edited footage. It is also worth noting that the videos were sent to Deadspin as an attempt to discredit Nichols’ job status within ESPN, and with the public at large, with the anonymous source texting our reporter that the videos would “expose” Nichols as a “back-stabber” and a phony ally.
Nothing in the videos Deadspin viewed show Nichols saying anything that could be construed as either a back-stabber or phony ally. Historically, casting successful women as conniving backstabbers has been a tried and true method of encouraging public condemnation of them. (See, e.g., Clinton, Hillary, and Warren, Elizabeth). You love to see the classics trotted out.
Well this isn't an Erin Andrews type situation, but it's still creepy as hell and very easily could have been. Nichols needs to unplug that camera in her room when she's done with her ESPN spots.
That or force The Worldwide Leader in Sports to get their shit together before she sues them for a ton of money.