Rachel Nichols
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Rachel Nichols Will No Longer Cover The 2021 NBA Finals

ESPN made the decision to pull Rachel Nichols from sideline coverage of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. This came after the New York Times released a damning report where Nichols made shameful comments about Maria Taylor and the network’s decision to make her the lead sideline reporter during last year’s playoffs. Nichols was unaware that she was being recorded, but at least one employee recorded the clip on their phone. The report also stated that many employees were upset that Nichols did not get punished, and despite the news sending shockwaves across the sports media industry, Nichols will not be let go. It is confirmed that she will continue to host The Jump, a daily NBA-themed show.

There has also been a tremendous outcry on social media. Nichols is under the magnifying glass for her comments, but the network executives do not have clean hands either. The Times also reported that the recording of Nichols began spreading less than a week after ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro vowed for accountability and improvements across the company’s workplace culture. The daughter of Jalen Rose, an NBA analyst at the network, made a viral TikTok about the situation and slammed Nichols for her comments and broadcasting ability. Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player and close friend of George Floyd, took a stand with Nichols and is supporting her and Maria Taylor. After her opening monologue on yesterday’s episode of The Jump, Kendrick Perkins thanked her and also made supportive comments. A quote from ESPN’s statement about pulling Nichols read:

“We believe this is the best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals.”

ESPN Press Release

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