Rachel Nichols’ Comments on Coworker Maria Taylor as “Active Source of Pain” at ESPN, Report Says

Internal struggles have plagued ESPN since Rachel Nichols’ comments about diversity and her fellow journalist Maria Taylor leaked, The New York Times reported. The conflict arose when Nichols, who is white, expressed his frustrations over the phone with Adam Mendelsohn, adviser to NBA superstar LeBron James. Nichols complained that the network decided to replace her with Taylor, who is black, as the host of the network’s coverage of the 2020 NBA Finals. She appeared to imply that she felt the move was inspired by the Taylor’s race, according to a 20-minute recording of the call obtained by the Time. “If you need to give her more to do because you feel the pressure about your long-standing diversity record, which by the way, I know personally on the female side, come on- y, ”Nichols said. “You just have to find it elsewhere. You’re not going to find it at my house or take my stuff away. The call was recorded and stored on ESPN’s servers until it was later recorded by an employee who had access to it who shared it with other employees before it was disclosed to The New York Times. The newspaper reports that the only person who has been sanctioned since the appeal is the black producer who shared the recording; she has since left the network. ESPN’s decision not to punish Nichols remains “an active source of pain” within the network, a source told Time.

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