Skip to main content

You won’t find a bigger NBA fan out there than ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. After all, it is her job to talk about the league.

But Nichols isn’t too happy with the NBA right now. Following Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death on Saturday, the league was surprisingly silent even after recently honoring prominent figures such as John Lewis and Chadwick Boseman. Nichols took to Twitter Monday to voice her displeasure with the NBA.

The NBA didn’t honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg in any way after her death

After Ginsburg’s death, the WNBA honored the late Supreme Court Justice with an official statement and a tribute video played before the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun playoff game on Sunday.

“’Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.’ – Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The WNBA honors and owes a tremendous debt to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a giant in the fight for civil rights and gender equality. On this Rosh Hashanah, we send condolences to her family and pledge to continue to fight for real, enduring change. Rest in Power, RBG,” the WNBA said in its statement.

Meanwhile, the NBA hosted a playoff game Sunday between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, but the league was silent about Ginsburg’s death. No statement. No tribute. No mention of the women’s rights titan whatsoever.

This prompted a strong message from Nichols.

Rachel Nichols rips the NBA for their silence on RBG

On Monday, Nichols took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the NBA remaining silent about Ginsburg. In a video message, Nichols ripped the league for not honoring the late Justice.

If you are an American woman who appreciates not having to ask your father or husband for permission to manage your own finances, property, health, you owe a gigantic debt to the Notorious RBG. Something the WNBA recognized with a lovely video tribute before its playoff game last night. So it was surprising then and disappointing, frankly, when the NBA chose not to do the same. Despite that, it was just last month the league held such meaningful moments of silence for not just politician and civil rights icon John Lewis, but actor Chadwick Boseman. If you are a league that holds equality as a core value, and I know for sure that this league does, the icons of that equality can’t just be those who helped the men that we all see on TV, but those who paved the way for the women who work right alongside them. After all, the NBA is significantly stronger because of all the women who work in and around it.

Rachel Nichols

Nichols is questioning the NBA’s commitment to honoring strong women, which she finds peculiar considering the number of women who contribute to the greatness of the league every day.

The NBA has a strong presence of successful women

The NBA might be a male-dominant league, but women have become more and more a part of the fold in recent years. Nichols is a prime example, as she’s become one of the most respected reporters and personalities around the league.

Similarly, Doris Burke is one of the most famous play-by-play analysts in the sport. Becky Hammon is on her way to a head coaching gig. There are now multiple female referees in the NBA.

Women are more prominent in the NBA today than ever before, and Nichols doesn’t want to see that progress stall. We’ll see how the league responds to her criticism, if at all.