ESPN has stopped Rachel Nichols from participating in the NBA Finals.
According to Front Office Sports, ESPN announced Tuesday that Nichols has been pulled as the network’s sideline reporter for the NBA Finals between the Bucks and Suns, which starts later tonight. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)
ESPN has announced that Malika Andrews will replace Rachel Nichols as sideline reporter during the NBA Finals.
“We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals. Rachel will continue to host The Jump.” pic.twitter.com/TE8M8aqem6
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) July 6, 2021
Nichols has been in the news nonstop ever since a private recording of her discussing ESPN co-worker Maria Taylor was leaked, and it’s been a PR disaster.
In a recording from 2020, Nichols suggested that Taylor was potentially being pushed up the ladder at ESPN because of the network’s history, according to The New York Times.
She said the following in July 2020:
I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball. 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.
Now, Nichols has lost her spot as the sideline person working the games and will be replaced by Malika Andrews.
Rachel Nichols’ apology at the top of ESPN’s The Jump earlier today.pic.twitter.com/q5U6U0ZZCK
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 5, 2021
Honestly, it’s hard not to feel a bit bad for Nichols. She thought she was having a private conversation, she didn’t know she was being record, the tape found its way to Maria Taylor and the NYT and now she’s been pulled.
The worst part is that her comments aren’t even that bad. She said she wanted nothing for the best for Taylor, but didn’t want it to come at her expense.
How many people have said similar stuff in private?
ESPN has taken Rachel Nichols off the NBA Finals sideline, the network announced.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 6, 2021
What an absolute disaster for ESPN. I hope the leaker is happy. They’ve probably ruined Nichols career, despite the fact she didn’t really say anything that bad. What a joke of a sports network.