Rachel Nichols (Rachel Nichols) opened on Monday’s “Jump” episode and apologized for her comments to colleague Maria Taylor in July 2020, in which she suggested that black Taylor host 2020 The coverage of the NBA Finals in 2015 was more diverse because ESPN “felt pressure”.
The New York Times published a report on Sunday detailing the consequences of her comments, which she unknowingly recorded and uploaded to the ESPN server. There, it is shared by the entire company. According to The Times, several of Nichols’ colleagues-including the famous “NBA Countdown” commentators Jaylen Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jay Williams- Criticized her. Those interviewed by The Times anonymously also expressed disappointment at ESPN’s refusal to punish her.
On Monday, the “Jump” host told the story without hesitation, apologizing to her colleagues-especially Taylor:
Nichols’ full quote:
“The first thing they teach you at the School of Journalism is,’Don’t be a story.’ I don’t intend to break this rule today, nor do I intend to be distracted from the wonderful finals. But I don’t want this moment to pass. Not to mention how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues at ESPN. How deeply, “I’m sorry to disappoint the people I hurt, especially Maria Taylor. I am very grateful to be a member of this excellent team. “
Commentators Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins also commented on Nichols’ statement and apology. They praised her for taking responsibility for her actions, while acknowledging that there is still work to be done to create an inclusive atmosphere at ESPN.
“I know your heart,” Perkins said, referring to Nichols. “Great person, great individual. I also know Maria Taylor. Also a great person. Very, very talented and hardworking. I think she deserves every opportunity. My only hope is that we have an overall commitment to this Support each other in the process and continue to support each other throughout our journey.”
Jefferson said: “Rachel and I, during this time, our entire team here had some very difficult conversations. These conversations did not end there. We will continue to have uncomfortable conversations. No one can forgive me. (Nichols) Not “forgive me.” I have no forgiveness, (Perkins). This will not go away. “
Nichols made a comment in a phone call with LeBron James’ adviser Adam Mendelson and agent Rich Paul. She said she wanted to host coverage of the finals, which prompted her to comment:
“I wish Maria Taylor all the best in the world-she reports football, she reports basketball,” Nichols said on the phone. “If you need to give her more to do, because you feel pressured by your long-term poor diversity record-by the way, I personally know it from a female side-for example, do it. Just find it elsewhere. You will not find it from me or take my things.
“I just want them to go somewhere else-by the way, this is in my contract; the job is in my written contract.”
Taylor did not speak to The Times about his story, and he has not publicly commented on ESPN or Nichols. Her contract with the company will expire on July 20.