In The Aftermath Of Rachel Nichols ‘Hot Mic’ Video About Maria Taylor, Some Top ESPN Analysts Considered Boycott

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In The Aftermath Of Rachel Nichols ‘Hot Mic’ Video About Maria Taylor, Some Top ESPN Analysts Considered Boycott

“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.”


This is what was said in a ‘hot mic’ recording, from ESPN’s Rachel Nichols after she learned that Maria Taylor would be hosting the NBA Finals last year, that has been obtained by the New York Times.



Before the audio was released, Taylor already was in the news for declining ESPN’s contract extension offer, reportedly seeking an annual salary of around $8 million.

Following the release of the audio, Nichols and ESPN were criticized by the vast  majority of people. In the article by the Times, it also was revealed that upon being notified of the recording, Taylor refused to work or interact with Nichols on air. This also led to some of ESPN’s top talent consider a boycott, and to a heated pre-show call.


“On the pre-show call involving the stars of the show and production staff in both Los Angeles and New York, Taylor insisted to an executive that she be able to conduct live interviews with sideline reporters. She also brought up the recorded phone conversation. Wojnarowski jumped in and called Nichols a bad teammate. Rose said that ESPN had asked a lot from Black employees over the past year, but that he and other Black employees would extend their credibility to the company no longer.

Taylor, whom executives had asked numerous times to change her interactions with Nichols, said that the only people punished by ESPN’s actions were women of color: Johnson, herself and the three sideline reporters — Lisa Salters, Cassidy Hubbarth and Andrews — who received lesser assignments so that Nichols could have the lead sideline reporter role and now were not being allowed to appear on the show live.”


Nichols, in the meantime, reportedly reached out to Taylor to apologize, but Taylor wanted nothing to do with her.


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