ESPN’s Rachel Nichols pulled off NBA Finals duty following racist remark

ESPN announced that reporter Rachel Nichols was pulled off her 2021 NBA Finals duty following a leaked comment about an African-American colleague.

The New York Times revealed Sunday a conversation between Nichols and Adam Mendelsohn during the 2020 NBA season in Florida. Nichols was unaware that a camera in her hotel room was attached to a live microphone after a satellite broadcast.

Nichols was heard saying that her Black co-worker Maria Taylor was chosen by ESPN to host the NBA finals coverage only to showcase “diversity.”

“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world,” said Nichols. “She covers football, she covers basketball. If you (ESPN) 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.”

She further stressed that the assignment to host the NBA Finals coverage is in her contract.

Nichols was replaced by Malika Andrews on the sidelines for the broadcast. ESPN confirmed that Nichols would continue to host her show, “The Jump.”

NBA Finals


The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association . (wikipedia)

Maria Taylor (analyst)


Suzette Maria Taylor is an analyst and host for ESPN and the SEC Network. She covers college football, college volleyball, NBA, NFL, and college men’s and women’s basketball. (wikipedia)



ESPN is an American multinational basic cable sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., owned jointly by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications . (wikipedia)

Phoenix Suns


The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association , (wikipedia)

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