Rachel Nichols’ Explosive Comments About Maria Taylor Get Her Taken off ESPN’s NBA Coverage

ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols found herself in a world of trouble when a New York Times article revealed to the public her feelings about fellow reporter Maria Taylor.

Nichols’ comments set off a firestorm of controversy as she tried to downplay her words and apologize to Taylor.

But is her apology going to be enough to calm the storm brewing at ESPN?

The New York Times reveals Nichols’ shocking words about Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor of ESPN speaks at the espnW Women + Sports Summit | Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

ESPN has had its share of controversy in the past especially when dealing with some of its reporters and commentators. 

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling was fired from his baseball job at ESPN because of some insensitive comments he has made in the past.

Schilling has accused ESPN of trying to cater to a certain type of audience, which is why he feels like he was fired.

Former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill was suspended for calling former President Donald Trump a white supremacist. Hill has since left the network.

According to the Times, Nichols supposedly said the only reason Taylor worked the NBA Finals is because of the network’s “feeling pressure about (its) crappy longtime record on diversity.”

Nichols’ comments did not sit well with a lot of people. Her words have been seen as racist. It seems as if Nichols was trying to say the only reason Taylor got the job is because she is Black.

Until recently, Taylor was primarily on the SEC Network and was a sideline reporter for ESPN’s college football coverage.

But she has played a more of a permanent role on the mother ship network.

Rachel Nichols tries to apologize

Nichols appeared on the ESPN show The Jump this morning and tried to issue an apology to Taylor, who to this point has yet to respond.

“So the first thing they teach 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, 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.”

Some of Nichols’ colleagues, like Kendrick Perkins, tried to come to Nichols’ defense but there are others who have called out Nichols.

Jalen Rose’s daughter Mariah had a scorching commentary on Nichols that has gone viral. 

Former NBA player Kwame Brown called out Nichols before the Times story came out. He says Nichols was disrespectful to him during an interview she did with him when he was in high school. 

What do Nichols’ comments say about ESPN?

The fact that Nichols has been allowed to continue to work at ESPN despite what she had said says a lot about the network’s lack of diversity.

ESPN has, however, taken Nichols off of its NBA Finals coverage. But it may be too late. 

This story may be far from over and just the beginning of a storm that ESPN may not be able to stop. 

Related: ESPN’s Maria Taylor Reportedly Turned Down $5 Million Contract, Seeks ‘Stephen A. Smith Money’ From Network