ESPN‘s Rachel Nichols is catching heat from all over the sports world after her damning comments about colleague Maria Taylor surfaced online. Nichols was caught on microphone complaining that Taylor received her NBA Finals hosting gig last year solely to make up for ESPN’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
Many well-known personalities have come out to bash Nichols and stick up for Taylor amid the drama. Jalen Rose‘s daughter, Mariah, may have just issued the harshest criticism of Nichols yet.
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols still in hot water for Maria Taylor comments
Over the weekend, the New York Times published a bombshell story with recordings of Nichols bashing Taylor in July of 2020. The Times obtained clips of the ESPN host and sideline reporter speaking with Adam Mendelsohn, an adviser to LeBron James, and expressing her disappointment in the network for giving Nichols’ NBA Finals host job to Taylor last year.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world,” Nichols said. “She covers football, she covers basketball. 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.”
Nichols’ comments immediately sparked outrage from ESPN employees and beyond. But the harshest criticism has come from her co-worker Jalen Rose’s daughter.
Mariah Rose rips Nichols in emotional rant
We have already seen a wide array of responses regarding Nichols’ comments on Taylor. Many want Nichols fired immediately, while others say she should just be demoted in favor of Taylor.
Rose, Nichols’ longtime colleague at ESPN, has been rather silent about the whole situation, but the same can’t be said for his daughter.
Mariah Rose recently posted a video to TikTok ripping Nichols for her “white privilege.”
“Let’s quickly talk about miss Rachel Nichols,” she began. “Let’s talk about how you’re related to Dianne Sawyer, arguably the queen of ABC.
“You are a woman in the sports world and you sat there and you laughed about the Me Too movement, about your fellow women complaining about being sexually assaulted at work. Do you think that’s funny?
“What really got me is that you’re tired of the Black Lives Matter movement, because you weren’t tired posting about it or making your stupid little storybook monologues about it. Maybe instead of crying and calling Maria a diversity token you can direct that energy to the people that think there can only be one woman on that stage.
“And if we’re being real, Rachel Nichols is a subpar reporter. Subpar, boring, not great. I’m sorry your white privilege didn’t work this time. Maybe next time.”
Tell us how you really feel, Mariah.
Nichols’ apology leaves much to be desired
On Monday, Nichols made her first public appearance since the New York Times story dropped over the weekend. She opened an episode of “The Jump” on ESPN with an apology to Taylor and her fans, but it left plenty to be desired.
“So, the first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story. And I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals,” Nichols said. “But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN. How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team.”
For the rest of the opening segment, Nichols let Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson take up air time with their thoughts on the matter. They each spoke longer than Nichols.
ESPN has yet to make a decision on Nichols’ future with the company.