Rachel Nichols continues to be public enemy No. 1 as internal struggles have plauged ESPN since her comments leaked about diversity and her fellow reporter Maria Taylor, The New York Times reported.
The conflict originated when Nichols voiced frustrations over the phone to Adam Mendelsohn, adviser to LeBron James, about Taylor hosting the network’s coverage of 2020 NBA Finals.
“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,” Nichols said. “Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
Among the many people who had issues with her comments was Dez Bryant. The free agent WR took to Instagram and unloaded on Nichols about her words said about a fellow colleage and person of color that works in a field that is dominated by folks that look like her.
“This was an opportunity for you as a person who so clearly stated “you know how the black community has been treated”….. to come beside another woman who is just as qualified as you are but has not been given the SAME opportunities as you based on the color of her skin and support her in this time and opportunity…
The comments you made are the PROBLEM, the comments you made are aiding and abetting the PROBLEM…You solidified what we already know about this industry and many industries….We need more people in power positions like you, who realize the problem, to stand to the side and help change the landscape that has been laid out and dealt to minorities in different professions and across the country.
Rachel Nichols I am a real fan of you… but you missed the mark on this one. We all need to get comfortable looking outside ourselves including myself.. to see real change…”
He continued in the comments:
“if you really want to be honest.. everybody looking at this from Rachel perspective.. how we know ESPN didn’t want to go a different route?…regardless Maria is qualified
Diversity shouldn’t have never been brought up
Unless Rachel know something we don’t know”
“Everybody keep saying but did she lie? No she didn’t lie.. the question is do any of you read??? I’m specifically talking about how she knew how the industry is..
Not once I questioned who was the better analyst…Rachel Nichols is due to her experiences…”
The New York Times reports the only person who had been disciplined since the call is the Black producer who shared the recording; she has since left the network.
That all changed Tuesday when ESPN announced Nichols would be taken off NBA Finals coverage and replaced with Malika Andrews.