Sports Media World Reacts To The Rachel Nichols News

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Rachel Nichols is trending on social media on Sunday morning following a bombshell story from the New York Times.

According to audio obtained by the New York Times, Nichols expressed major frustration when fellow ESPN host Maria Taylor was given NBA Finals duties.

Nichols was reportedly speaking with two people close to LeBron James inside of the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida last summer.

“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.”

According to the report, Nichols’ comments have caused serious damage within the network over the past year.

ESPN has been trying, and often failing, to deal with the scandal for months. But a fast-approaching deadline is forcing the network to show at least some of its cards. Taylor’s contract expires during the N.B.A. finals, which start on Tuesday between the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks, yet few substantive steps have been taken toward a new deal even though Pitaro has identified Taylor as one of ESPN’s rising stars.

Whether or not ESPN and Taylor agree on a contract, the internal damage from the past year has been substantial.

Many in the sports media world have taken to social media to react to Nichols’ comments.

Nichols told the New York Times that she reached out to Taylor to apologize, though Taylor was reportedly not interested in responding, which Nichols respects.

Nichols added that she was hurt by the recording of the audio.

“I was shaken that a fellow employee would do this, and that other employees, including some of those within the N.B.A. project, had no remorse about passing around a spy video of a female co-worker alone in her hotel room,” she said, adding, “I would in no way suggest that the way the comments came to light should grant a free pass on them being hurtful to other people.”

It remains to be seen what will happen at ESPN.

Taylor’s contract is reportedly up later this month. We’ll likely find out where ESPN stands very soon.

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