- On Sunday the NY Times released a leaked audio recording from July 2020 showing ESPN’s Rachel Nichols calling Maria Taylor a “diversity” hire after Taylor was awarded NBA Finals hosting job
- Nichols apologized for the comment about Taylor during Monday’s edition of ‘The Jump’ but continued to receive backlash from viewers who though her apology was short and insincere
- Hours before the start of game 1 ESPN decided to pull Nichols from the broadcast to prevent the leaked audio drama from becoming a distraction during the NBA Finals
- Read more Brobible Sports articles here
Rachel Nichols will not be working the NBA Finals after all.
Over the weekend the NY Times revealed that there was drama behind the scenes at ESPN after Nichols was heard calling NBA Countdown host Maria Taylor a “diversity” hire in a leaked audio recording.
There has been significant damage and infighting at ESPN the past year after Rachel Nichols said in a caught-on-tape conversation that Maria Taylor was selected for a marquee job because the network was “feeling pressure” on diversity. @kevinmdraper: https://t.co/n0MXwaCI8h
— Oskar Garcia (@oskargarcia) July 4, 2021
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
On Monday, Nichols appeared on “The Jump” and apologized for his comments about Taylor but many felt her apology was too short and insincere.
Rachel Nichols, appearing alongside Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson, just apologized on The Jump pic.twitter.com/hXjMi283CZ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 5, 2021
Hours before the start of the NBA Finals on Tuesday, ESPN pulled Nichols and inserted Malika Andrews as the featured sideline reporter to prevent the Nichols situation from distracting from the Finals broadcast.
ESPN announces Malika Andrews will replace Rachel Nichols as sideline reporter during the NBA Finals: “We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals. Rachel will continue to host The Jump.”
— Ben Strauss (@benjstrauss) July 6, 2021