The network announced on Tuesday that ESPN broadcaster Rachel Nichols will not be a side reporter for this year’s NBA Finals.
The finals will begin Tuesday night between Phoenix Sons and Milwaukee Bucks and will be broadcast by ABC. Nichols was expected to return this year as he did last year, but ESPN said in a press release that the character is going to replace reporter Malika Andrews.
Nichols will continue to present the set of “The Jump” and Maria Taylor will return as pre-game and part-time host, along with analysts Jalan Rose and Jay Williams and reporter Adrian Wozniawski.
Nicholas’ departure comes a day after he apologized for his comments in a leaked phone call, saying Taylor, also known as Black, was selected to host the finals last year because the network was under pressure to address its “long-standing record of diversity”.
“We believe this is a great decision for everyone involved to focus on in the NBA finals,” ESPN Communications Director Ben Cabardo told NBC News in a statement that Nicholas was not sidelined.
Her apology came later The New York Times In the wake of the July 2020 phone conversation, Nichols accidentally recorded an article highlighting tensions on the gaming network on a camera, which delivers video to the company’s control room.
As part of a call from the Times, Nichols has been selected to host the 2020 NBA Finals coverage of his colleague Maria Taylor. Nichols, who is in white, was expected to handle the coverage and was asked to be a side reporter instead.
“Guess what way it will clear up? Maria hosting full time,” he says. “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world – she covers football, she covers basketball. If you have to give her many more things, you feel pressured about your awkward long-term record of diversity – which, I personally know from its female side – like, for that matter Go. Find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or take my thing. ”
On Monday, Nichols hosted ESPN. “Jump, Began the daily NBA show by saying “I’m so sorry” for disappointing “Taylor”.
“So the first thing they teach you in journalism school should not be the story. I do not plan to break that rule today or deviate from a fantastic finale, but I do not want to let this moment go without saying how much I respect our colleagues on ESPN.” He said. “I’m deeply and deeply sorry for those who hurt me, especially Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be a part of this great team.”
Taylor did not publicly comment on the Times article or Nicholas’ apology. ESPN did not immediately send a request for comment on Tuesday.
According to The New York Times, Nicholas LeBron was on the phone with Adam Mendelssohn, James ‘adviser, and Rich Paul, James’ agent. Mendelssohn addressed the leaked audio after he was criticized by the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements for calling him “exhausted”.
“I’m deeply rooted in a stupid, careless comment, I’m so sorry. I should not have said or thought of it,” Mendelssohn said in an email. CNBC. “I work to support these movements and I know that people affected by these issues will never get tired or have nothing left. I must continue to check my offer and serve as a better friend.”
Audio recorded on a cell phone from the ESPN control room and then shared with others – led to a storm that resulted in some of the network’s personalities being sidelined.
ESPN spokesman Josh Crowleywitz told the newspaper that the incident had been addressed “appropriately” by a “diverse board”.
“We are proud of the coverage we continue to produce, and our focus will be on Maria, Rachel and the rest of the talented team to serve NBA fans collectively,” Crowleywitz said.