The Rachel Nichols/Maria Taylor thing was a hot mess this past weekend.
In case you’re living under a rock and didn’t see the story here, or all over the news, the New York Times published an article that contained some audio recordings of Nichols voicing concerns that Maria Taylor might infringe upon her ESPN duties because of “diversity” reasons. She essentially wanted to hold her ground and not be replaced by Taylor to meet any kind of quota. That’s the short version of it.
Nichols apologized on Monday and today there’s this:
ESPN announces Malika Andrews will replace Rachel Nichols as sideline reporter during the NBA Finals: “We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals. Rachel will continue to host The Jump.”
— Ben Strauss (@benjstrauss) July 6, 2021
The irony here is that Nichols, who did not want to lose her place to a black woman, is being replaced on the sideline by a different black woman. She’s still keeping her gig with The Jump, but no in-game reporting for her.
Like I said earlier, if ESPN really wanted to capitalize on this, they would PAIR Nichols with Taylor on their NBA Finals coverage. I propose a four-person crew of Rachel Nichols, Maria Taylor, Stephen A Smith, and LeBron James.