For the past few years, Maria Taylor has been one of the fastest rising stars at ESPN. But after failing to agree to a new contract, the two sides are ready for a divorce.
ESPN announced on Wednesday that they have failed to reach an agreement on a new contract with Taylor. As a result, the NBA Finals game that she reported from on Tuesday night was officially her last broadcast with the company.
Rumors have circulated for weeks that Taylor was on the outs with ESPN. Her salary demands were reportedly above what ESPN was willing to offer, while NBC Sports appears ready to give her a deal that would allow her to join their Summer Olympics coverage right away.
One thing that may have intensified the rift between the two was a controversy revealed earlier this month involving ESPN co-worker Rachel Nichols. A New York Times report revealed that Nichols had some very controversial things to say about ESPN’s decision to let Taylor cover the NBA Finals instead of her.
Nichols apologized and Taylor seemingly brushed the controversy off, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if a rift remained.
Taylor is quickly finding support throughout the sports world. Many are ready to ride with her no matter where she goes, while others have begun ripping ESPN for not giving Taylor her due.
— Mary Kate Hamilton (@MaryKate_CBS7) July 21, 2021
One of the best to do it on the Network. Can't wait to see where the queen goes next!!
— TJ Watson (@SportsDoc92) July 21, 2021
— Don’t Make 🧢 A Lifestyle (@MilesAhead35) July 21, 2021
ESPN is stupid for not bringing Maria Taylor back
— Murph (@J_Murphy_) July 21, 2021
Maria Taylor has been working for ESPN since 2013 and has been a host on several of their biggest programs. She’s been a host on SportsCenter, College GameDay and NBA Countdown over the past few years.
Now she’s slated to join NBC Sports, where her growth potential looks very high for the years to come.
She may not be at ESPN anymore, but we haven’t seen the last of Maria Taylor, not by a long shot.