ESPN Removes Rachel Nichols from NBA Coverage, Cancels “The Jump”
ESPN has removed Rachel Nichols from her role as a host for the network’s NBA coverage. The company also announced the cancellation of her weekday NBA show, “The Jump.”
Rachel Nichols Removed from ESPN NBA Coverage
CNN reported that the breakup was mutual. Furthermore, that the decision “regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned.”
“Rachel is an excellent reporter, host, and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content,” said ESPN’s senior vice president of production David Roberts.
Nichols and Maria Taylor Controversy
Nichols debuted for the company in 2004. Since then, she has become one of the most well-known broadcasters on the network, regardless of gender. Fans also took a liking to Rachel for her excellent coverage inside the NBA bubble.
However, the overall perception of Nichols to the viewing audience changed once voice recordings were leaked of her sharing her stance on a co-worker and NBA analyst Maria Taylor.
Audio from Of Rachel Nichols Comment On Maria Taylor saying she earned the job to host 2020 N.B.A. finals coverage because ESPN was “feeling pressure” on diversity. pic.twitter.com/XKIB5QYesa
— Wizskins (@Itswizskins) July 4, 2021
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world,” Nichols said in the leaked video. “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,” said Nichols in the leaked call.
Rachel Reacts to Cancellation of “The Jump”
Since that moment, fans reconsidered their appreciation for Nichols after learning how she felt about Taylor. Especially regarding comments about diversity in the workplace, implying to the masses that Maria only landed her position in the company due to a lack of African American presence.
Since the news broke, Nichols took to social media to express her feelings about “The Jump,” stating that it was never meant to last forever.
Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people ❤️ talking about one my favorite things 🏀 An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. 😎
More to come… pic.twitter.com/FPMFRlfJin
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 25, 2021
“Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people Red heart talking about one my favorite things Basketball An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. Smiling face with sunglasses
More to come…”
What do fans think is next for Rachel Nichols? And, made her comments about Taylor push her out of the door?