A leaked conversation has cost one ESPN anchor a high-profile job at the cable network.
Reports indicate that Rachel Nichols will not be included in ESPN’s on-air coverage of the NBA Finals after a recording surfaced in which she could be heard complaining about the company’s diversity policy.
“Just find it somewhere else”
“We believe this is [the] best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals,” a statement from the network explained.
Specifically, Nichols was reportedly upset that a Black colleague, Maria Taylor, took her spot at last year’s NBA Finals.
The conversation was recorded nearly a year ago. She told Adam Mendelsohn and Rich Paul — an adviser and agent, respectively, for NBA star LeBron James — that ESPN’s decision was unwarranted.
“If you need to give [Taylor] 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,” Nichols said. “Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
Nichols has since experienced widespread backlash for violating the far-left identity politics that have taken root in much of the mainstream media.
“Don’t want to let this moment pass”
After the call surfaced and created chaos for the network, Nichols issued an apology.
“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 wrote. “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 part of this outstanding team.”
It remains to be seen what her future with ESPN will be, but she could likely find herself increasingly ostracized as a result of the controversy.
Meanwhile, diversity continues to be a priority in the hiring practices of various corporations, leading some viewers to wonder whether other figures like Nichols will be sidelined in pursuit of checking off racial and ethnic boxes.
While it is certain that her leaked conversation is similar to others that have taken place in private elsewhere in corporate America, it also shows that anyone who dares to question the prevailing social narrative could find themselves in her place.