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Rachel Nichols lands on Showtime to hear about ESPN's exit

Almost a year after ESPN pulled Rachel Nichols off air, the longtime NBA reporter has a new job at Showtime.

Last summer, after The New York Times published a leaked audio recording of Nichols, who is white, complaining about a job he was asked to give up by fellow NBA host, Black, Maria Taylor, Nichols spoke to ESPN’s NBA. Removed from the press.

In a call he didn’t know was being taped, Nichols said that if ESPN wants to improve its diversity record, it will do so by giving Taylor Nichols a contractually guaranteed job as host of the NBA Finals. suggested that it should not.

Rachel Nichols is back on the air, but Fallout on ESPN is just beginning

Nichols, who made her Showtime debut on Friday, joined former NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on the video podcast “All the Smoke,” unveiling her version of the events that led to her departure from ESPN for the first time. She suggested that her recording was leaked strategically, and much of the frustration she intended to express in her leaked phone calls to the sports media’s difficulties of being a woman in her business. said to be due.

“I’m sorry that this touched on Maria Taylor,” said Nicholls.

Nicholls, a former Washington Post reporter, added that when Human Resources investigated the tape, it found she didn’t need to be disciplined. Unfortunately, there were people who still had bad feelings and kept this tape for a year,” she said. At the point where we wanted to influence our situation, we sent it to the press.”

ESPN declined to comment.

Nichols explained that the story began when he was given a new contract that guaranteed him hosting obligations for the NBA Finals in 2019. A year later, when racism protests swept the country, ESPN , asked her to give up what she called Taylor’s “dream job.”

Nichols believes ESPN is asking women to solve the problem of diversity, and did not ask the men who are the main hosts of college football to stand aside for Taylor in the same way. said to Recy Davis, “I want to give Maria this opportunity. Are you going to be a side reporter?” Nicholls said on the podcast.

The record was made from Nichols’ hotel room in Orlando during the 2020 NBA bubble. Nichols said the camera had been inadvertently activated for hours in her hotel room, and someone at ESPN had recorded a video of her using her cell phone and circulated it. ESPN.

Nichols tried to call, text, and set up a meeting with Taylor to apologize, but said Taylor wasn’t interested. was removed from the network airwaves at the end of the

Taylor also left ESPN and now works for NBC.