Rachel Nichols' ESPN Show Fails To Air After She's Pulled From NBA Finals Over Degrading Maria Taylor Remarks

Jul. 7 2021, Published 10:48 a.m. ET

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The fallout stemming from Rachel Nichols' degrading remarks about her Black colleague, Maria Taylor, seemingly continues.

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On Tuesday, her show, The Jump, failed to appear on the network at its regularly scheduled 4 PM time slot; Jalen & Jacoby, featuring fellow network hosts Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, appeared instead.

rachel nichols espn show does not air nba finals maria taylor comments r
Source: ESPN

Rachel Nichols

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What's interesting is that just hours prior, ESPN had announced its decision to pull Nichols from covering the NBA Finals; however, the network did say she would continue to appear on The Jump.

"We believe this is the best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals," ESPN said in a statement.

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The Jump aired Monday as usual, with Nichols addressing and apologizing for her now-viral comments, but the program was MIA just 24 hours later.

It is scheduled to air today, though reps for the network have not yet responded to Radar's request for comment.

rachel nichols espn show does not air nba finals maria taylor comments r
Source: MEGA

Maria Taylor

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Last July, Nichols unknowingly recorded and uploaded to an ESPN server in a Connecticut control room a video of herself saying that the network was allegedly trying to force her to relinquish her NBA Finals hosting gig to Taylor because executives were "feeling pressure" to put more diverse media personalities on camera.

"I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world – she covers football, she covers basketball," Nichols said at the time. "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."

"I just want them to go somewhere else – it's in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing," she added.

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After a year of reportedly not having disciplined Nichols for her comments, ESPN made the decision Tuesday to replace her with Malika Andrews for sideline coverage of the the championship series, and have Taylor host the pregame and halftime shows on NBA Countdown.

rachel nichols espn show does not air nba finals maria taylor comments r
Source: NBA on ESPN/YouTube

Malika Andrews

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Nichols has since expressed remorse for her words in both The New York Times, which ran a Sunday story detailing the fallout from her remarks, and then again on Monday's episode of The Jump.

"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," she said at the top of the hour.

"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 a part of this outstanding team," she added.


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