The NBA Finals may still be days away, but there was no break in the action amid a bombshell report dropping on longtime ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols throwing slander at co-worker Maria Taylor from back in 2020.
In the tell-all report from the New York Times, Rachel Nichols was caught on a hot mic venting out her frustrations on a personal phone call about how Taylor got a chance to report on the NBA Finals instead of her. Nichols had claimed that ESPN did this merely because of pressure to be racially diverse.
Rachel Nichols: 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.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) July 4, 2021
This has sparked a handful of reactions, including a few notable NBA names in Ja Morant, Jamal Crawford, and Kevin Porter Jr.
keep going queen @MariaTaylor
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) July 4, 2021
@MariaTaylor We Stand , such a Great soul! Love to one of our Black Queens
— Scoot (@Kevinporterjr) July 5, 2021
We stand with you @MariaTaylor .
— Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) July 4, 2021
But beyond the NBA stars reacting to the Maria Taylor-Rachel Nichols drama, Taylor also got a ton of well-wishes from her journalist peers and others in the sports industry, including notable names like Taylor Rooks and Emmanuel Acho.
Sending love and support to my dear friend @MariaTaylor – Maria has always been an advocate, a sister, and a gracious human being. The fact that she is an absolute star and generational talent is only the icing on the cake. Proud of you, black woman!
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 4, 2021
I always thought Maria Taylor was great on television, then I worked with her once and realized I was wrong. shes ELITE!
Keep being great @MariaTaylor.
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) July 4, 2021
protect Maria Taylor at all costs
— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) July 4, 2021
Excellent at her job and a super star human. Im rocking with her all day everyday!
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) July 4, 2021
Few better at their job than @MariaTaylor. Thats not subjective, thats just fact.
— Taylor Tannebaum (@TaylorTannebaum) July 4, 2021
.@MariaTaylor was my very first mentor. Took me in day 1. that has grown to a sisterhood. Shes done nothing but uplift and advocate for the women, specifically Black Women around her. Theres not a warmer heart than here in this business. Im forever proud of you and your grace.
— stas (@AstasiaWill) July 4, 2021
One interesting wrinkle about the latest report on Rachel Nichols speaking on Taylor was the fact that a rumor leaked just a few days prior to the Times piece. It was about the insanely high asking price Taylor was rumored to have demanded from ESPN to extend her contract. Her current deal is set to expire within the next couple of weeks.
Dont forget, ESPN tried to make Maria Taylor look greedy on the way out. This story is from four days ago, hmm wonder why it came out
— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) July 4, 2021