The New York Times has a major story on a “storm” brewing at ESPN due to Rachel Nichols’ comments on Maria Taylor.
Taylor, who was in the news this week due to some ESPN contract speculation, has taken over NBA Finals hosting duties for the Worldwide Leader. She began hosting the NBA Finals last year, which reportedly irked Nichols.
The New York Times has reportedly obtained the comments made by Nichols when she learned Taylor would be hosting the NBA Finals in 2020.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols reportedly said in July 2020. “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. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
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
According to the New York Times, Nichols’ comments have caused a controversy within ESPN.
Multiple Black ESPN employees said they told one another after hearing the conversation that it confirmed their suspicions that outwardly supportive white people talk differently behind closed doors.
Nichols made her comments while speaking with Adam Mendelsohn, a longtime adviser of LeBron James, and Rich Paul.
A video showing the ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols making disparaging comments about the selection of Maria Taylor for a key job has caused substantial damage at the network the past year. @kevinmdraper on the video and its fallout: https://t.co/jo5XQAZiAF
— NYT Sports (@NYTSports) July 4, 2021
Taylor’s contract with ESPN is reportedly up later this summer – before the end of the NBA Finals. She is reportedly seeking a major raise, wanting “Stephen A. Smith-type money.”
The NBA Finals are set to begin on July 6.