Rachel Nichols has spoken publicly for the primary time to inform her facet of the story about her exit from ESPN.
Nichols exited the community final yr within the wake of a leaked audio recording by which she was heard complaining about being requested to surrender a job internet hosting the NBA Finals to Maria Taylor, blaming an emphasis on range for the transfer.
After saying she could be becoming a member of Showtime, Nichols appeared on the “All of the Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on Friday.
“I believed we had put some issues behind us and sadly there have been nonetheless some individuals who had dangerous emotions and held on to this tape for a yr,” Nichols mentioned, saying the tape was investigated by HR and he or she wasn’t disciplined. “Simply saved it of their pocket. And when there was some extent they wished some leverage with their very own conditions they fed it to the press.”
Nichols mentioned that in 2019, she was given a contract that included internet hosting the NBA Finals. The following yr, she was requested to step apart in that function for Taylor amid the protests following George Floyd’s homicide. Taylor is black, and Nichols felt ESPN was making an attempt to unravel its range drawback by asking a lady to step apart as an alternative of a person.
“Do you assume ESPN would ever say to [College Gameday host] Rece Davis, ‘Hey, we need to give Maria this chance, you go be the sideline reporter?’ ” Nichols mentioned. “They don’t say that to males.”
After the tape was revealed final yr, Nichols was taken off NBA Finals protection. Taylor later moved to NBC.
Nichols mentioned she inadvertently left the digital camera operating in her lodge room throughout the 2020 NBA bubble, and one other ESPN worker recorded video of her utilizing a cellphone, later spreading it across the firm.
“I really feel sorry that any of that touched Maria Taylor,” Nichols mentioned. “She’s a fellow girl within the enterprise. It’s not her fault what was occurring.”
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