NBA

ESPN host Rachel Nichols is under fire after audio surfaced of her implying co-worker Maria Taylor got a job due to her race

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: Rachel Nichols arrives at The 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage) | NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 26: Maria Taylor attends USTA 19th Annual Opening Night Gala Blue Carpet at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 26, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
Joe Scarnici/WireImage | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Controversy is ripe at ESPN as host Rachel Nichols (who is white) seemingly accused ESPN of promoting Maria Taylor (who is black) for no reason other than her race. The situation played out in last season’s NBA bubble, where both women worked as reporters and hosts for ESPN. Taylor received the NBA Finals hosting job. On the other hand, ESPN asked Nichols to be a sideline reporter. In the reporting world, hosting pays more and is generally considered the “better” job.

After the job assignments, Nichols reached out to Adam Mendelsohn, an advisor to LeBron James. It was her conversation with Mendelsohn which drew the controversy. Her video camera remained on as she called him, most likely as she simply forgot to turn it off.

As a result, ESPN headquarters had access to the camera’s recordings, and someone at ESPN leaked the conversation.

When talking to Mendelsohn, she blamed ESPN for giving Taylor the job over her. It wasn’t her accusations of favoritism that drew controversy, but her reasoning for that alleged favoritism.

If you need to give her more things to do because you’re feeling pressure about your crappy, longtime record on diversity, which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it. Go for it, just find it somewhere else, you’re not going to find it with me.

Rachel Nichols

The conversation also showed Nichols wishing Taylor success, which only divided opinion even more. Sports fans are unsurprisingly split on the topic. Some see Nichols’ comments as racist, while others support her views and see nothing wrong with it.

https://twitter.com/Bre23Ellis/status/1411688759431766023

Until now, the exact context of Nichols’ conversation remained confidential. Last year, ESPN called the recording “indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” and it was known that she had been recorded while in the bubble. However, the new context of that phone call only just surfaced through a leaked audiotape.

As the 2021 NBA Finals begin, Nichols’ contract at ESPN expires during the series. Whether she gets a new contract at the company is still unknown.

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5 responses to “ESPN host Rachel Nichols is under fire after audio surfaced of her implying co-worker Maria Taylor got a job due to her race”

  1. […] A recording of Rachel Nichols discussing her employer’s request for her to step down from her post during coverage of the NBA finals leaked onto Twitter Sunday afternoon. The move would transition Maria Taylor, a black woman, into the lead position. She told her colleague, Adam Mendelsohn, that the move correlates to the pressure facing the organization to emphasize diversity. […]

  2. […] A recording of Rachel Nichols discussing her employer’s request for her to step down from her publish throughout protection of the NBA finals leaked onto Twitter Sunday afternoon. The transfer would transition Maria Taylor, a black lady, into the lead place. She advised her colleague, Adam Mendelsohn, that the transfer correlates to the stress dealing with the group to emphasise range. […]

  3. […] she was a major controversy due to diversity issues at the network. The controversy was due to a recording of Rachel Nichols being leaked about Maria Taylor. In the recording, Rachel Nichols said […]

  4. […] she was a major controversy due to diversity issues at the network. The controversy was due to a recording of Rachel Nichols being leaked about Maria Taylor. In the recording, Rachel Nichols said […]

  5. […] controversy on account of range points on the community. The controversy was on account of a recording of Rachel Nichols being leaked about Maria Taylor. Within the recording, Rachel Nichols stated […]

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