Rachel Nichols is a playa hater of the racial variety. The ESPN analyst, who is white, was caught disparaging her own peer Maria Taylor, on video and claiming the latter’s promotion was due to her ethnicity.
The New York Times detailed the controversy and its effect on ESPN. Apparently, the network didn’t even reprimand Nichols after she made the comments, over a year ago. The stars of NBA Countdown were fed up with the networks waffling on the issue and were considering not doing the show.
Reports the New York Times:
They were objecting to a production edict from executives that they believed was issued to benefit a sideline reporter and fellow star, Rachel Nichols, despite comments she had made suggesting that the host of “NBA Countdown,” Maria Taylor, had gotten that job because she is Black. Nichols is white.
A preshow call with Taylor and the other commentators — Jalen Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jay Williams — as well as “NBA Countdown” staff members had turned acrimonious, and Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s president, had several phone conversations while at a family event to try to help smooth things over.
Some of those involved saw the initial maneuvering as a sign of the network favoring Nichols despite a backdrop of criticism from employees who complained that the sports network has long mishandled problems with racism. It had declined to discipline Nichols despite fury throughout the company over her remark, which she made during a phone conversation nearly a year ago after learning that she would not host coverage during the 2020 N.B.A. finals, as she had been expecting.
The words Nichols said in reference to Taylor getting the nod to hold down the 2020 NBA Finals for ESPN reek of an entitled Karen.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world, she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols reportedly said in July 2020 on a phone call that was inadvertently recorded because her camera was still on. “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.”
Taylor’s contract is up at the end of the 2021 NBA Finals, which start on Tuesday, July 6, and now the Times has exposed the jig regarding ESPN’s handling of the situation. Needless to say, it has left much to be desired, and those with knowledge are sounding off, although mostly under anonymity for the sake of professional repercussions. To this day, Nichols was never punished.
Nichols says she reached out to Taylor to apologize, and the latter has not responded. In fact, Taylor has refused to interact with Nichols at all, leading to some creative editing on NBA Countdown.
Cool with us.
Needless to say, Twitter is going in, with most riding for Taylor and Nichols getting deep fried for being a surly Karen. A prevailing theme is also how white people say one thing to your face in the workplace, but switch up when you’re not looking—and many people clearly relate. See for yourself below.