Rachel Nichols opened Monday’s episode of “The Jump” with an apology for feedback she made concerning colleague Maria Taylor in July 2020, by which she advised Taylor, who’s Black, hosted protection of the 2020 NBA Finals as a result of ESPN was “feeling pressure” to be extra numerous.
The New York Occasions ran a Sunday story detailing the fallout of her feedback, which she unknowingly recorded and uploaded to ESPN servers. There, it was shared all through the corporate. In line with The Occasions’ report, a number of of Nichols’ colleagues — together with these as distinguished as “NBA Countdown” commentators Jalen Rose, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jay Williams — criticized her for her phrases. Those that spoke anonymously to The Occasions additionally expressed disappointment in ESPN’s refusal to punish her for her feedback.
“The Jump” host wasted no time on Monday in addressing the story, apologizing to her colleagues — significantly Taylor:
MORE: Rachel Nichols’ range feedback about Maria Taylor create uproar at ESPN
Nichols’ full quote:
“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. 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.”
Commentators Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins additionally commented on Nichols’ assertion and apology. They appreciated her taking duty for her actions whereas acknowledging there stays work to be executed to create an inclusive environment at ESPN.
“I know your heart,” Perkins stated, referring to Nichols. “Great person, great individual. I also know Maria Taylor. Great person as well. Very, very talented, hard-working. And I feel that she also deserves every opportunity that is presented her way. My only hope is that we have a commitment overall to support each other through this process and continue to support each other through our journey.”
Stated Jefferson: “Rachel and I, our entire group here have had some very difficult conversations over this time period. And those conversations don’t end here. We will continue to have uncomfortable conversations. No one is excused. (Nichols) is not excused. I am not excused, (Perkins). This doesn’t just go away.”
Nichols, who made the feedback in a telephone name with LeBron James’ advisor Adam Mendelsohn and agent Wealthy Paul, stated she anticipated to host protection of the Finals, which prompted her feedback:
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols stated within the name. “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.”
Taylor, who didn’t converse to The Occasions for its story, has but to remark publicly concerning the state of affairs at ESPN or with Nichols. Her contract with the corporate expires July 20.