The derogatory comments made by ESPN host Rachel Nichols and leaked from a recorded phone conversation are causing an uproar on the sports network.
The New York Times reports details of a leaked conversation by Nichols with Adam Mendelsohn, an adviser to LeBron James, and his agent Rich Paul. In the talk, Mendelsohn warned Nichols that ESPN is a “pit of snakes” and to be careful.
In the History of the New York Times, an audio clip taken from video shows Nichols, who is white, exasperated that Maria Taylor, who is black, was given hosting duties for the NBA Finals last year. Nichols is the host of the daily NBA show. The jump, while Taylor is an analyst and presenter on multiple sports.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world – she covers soccer, she covers basketball,” Nichols said. “If you need to give her more to do because you feel pressured by your shitty history in diversity, which, by the way, I know personally from the feminine side, do it. Find it elsewhere. You’re not going to find it or take it away from me. “
Nathan’s hot dog eating contest sees Joey Chestnut embrace the spirit of ’76
“I just want them to go somewhere else, by the way, it’s in my contract; this job is in my written contract, ”he said.
The Times reported that several ESPN employees who are black believe the conversation indicates that things said in private reflect a non-supportive attitude towards them that is never publicly stated.
“Those same people, who are generally conservative white male Trump voters, is part of the reason I’ve had a hard time at ESPN,” Nichols said on tape. “Basically, I finally got over everyone for so long that they had to admit it. I don’t want to be a victim of them trying to catch up on the same damage that hit me in the first place, you know what I mean. So I try to be nice. “
ESPN declined to comment with the Times and Taylor did not respond.
Nichols said in the story that he was speaking to a friend about his frustration, not with Taylor, but with ESPN.
“My own intentions in that conversation, and the opinion of those responsible for ESPN, are not the sum of what matters here; if Maria felt that the conversation was disturbing, then it was, and I was the cause of it for her” . she said.
Taylor is currently negotiating a new contract and reportedly wants to be among the highest paid personalities on the net. His current contract expires on July 20.