Rachel Nichols opened Monday's episode of ESPN's The Jump with an apology. She started the show apologizing to all her co-workers, especially Maria Taylor, for leaked comments Nichols made last year that surfaced over the weekend.
Here's what she had to say:
For those who missed the story, Nicholas was surreptitiously recorded making disparaging comments about ESPN tapping Taylor to host of the 2020 NBA Finals. Those comments -- made in July 2020 -- were recorded and circulated around ESPN's offices. They surfaced publicly this weekend, and the fallout from the recording was detailed in a New York Times piece.
In the recording, Nichols is heard complaining to Adam Mendelsohn, a longtime adviser to LeBron James, about Taylor replacing her as the host of the 2020 NBA Finals. Here's what she told Mendelsohn:
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in July 2020. “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.”
Clips of the recording were leaked to Deadspin last year but the site never had the full details of what was said. It wasn't until this weekend that we all got the full picture of the controversy and why it became such a huge deal behind the scenes at ESPN.
Nichols has now apologized for those words. We'll see where this drama turns next.
Taylor's contract with ESPN is up in the next few weeks and it will be fascinating to see how this plays out.