ESPN cancels Nichols show after Maria Taylor comments

ESPN has removed Rachel Nichols from its NBA lineup and canceled “The Jump,” the daily basketball show she has hosted for the past five ...


ESPN has removed Rachel Nichols from its NBA lineup and canceled “The Jump,” the daily basketball show she has hosted for the past five years, the network confirmed on Wednesday.

The show’s cancellation comes a month after The New York Times reported on derogatory comments made by Nichols about Maria Taylor, one of his ESPN colleagues at the time. In a conversation with an adviser to Lakers star LeBron James, Nichols, who is white, said Taylor, who is black, was chosen to host the 2020 NBA Finals cover in his place because executives in ‘ESPN “felt a pressure” on diversity.

Nichols, who was in his hotel room at the NBA’s Walt Disney World bubble in 2020, was unaware that his video camera was on and the conversation was recorded on an ESPN server. Taylor has since leaving ESPN and joining NBC.

“We mutually agreed that this approach to our NBA coverage was the best for everyone involved,” said Dave Roberts, the executive who oversees ESPN’s NBA studio broadcasts.

The movements were first reported by Sports Business Journal.

It’s unclear if Nichols will be on ESPN again. She signed a contract extension last year, but ESPN declined to say if she would appear on other shows. A representative for Nichols did not respond to a request for comment.

In an article on TwitterNichols thanked the show crew and wrote that “The Jump was never built to last forever, but it was really fun.”

Following the Times report, ESPN deleted Nichols of his role as a secondary reporter for the NBA Finals and canceled an episode of “The Jump”. But she continued to host the show until the finale until August 16, when she went on vacation. Malika Andrews hosted for the remainder of the week in her absence.

Outside of the games themselves, “The Jump” was ESPN’s most important NBA lineup. Nichols frequently interviewed stars and reporters like NBA commissioner Adam Silver on the show. “The Jump” was nominated for a Sports Emmy, as was Nichols for her role as host, but it never met a large number of viewers.

Roberts is the ESPN executive who decided to end “The Jump” and remove Nichols from the NBA studio lineup. Two weeks ago he received a promotion and took over some of the roles previously held by Stephanie Druley, the executive who previously oversaw NBA studio programming and the person who had to deal with Nichols’ comments on the taped call.

The cancellation of “The Jump” is only part of a larger reshuffle of ESPN’s daytime lineup.

On Tuesday, ESPN announced that Max Kellerman was leaving “First Take” – where he had trained with Stephen A. Smith – to host a new show in development. This show will likely take place in the afternoon, as will a new daily NBA show that will supplant “The Jump”.

In addition to creating the new basketball show, before the start of the NBA season in eight weeks, ESPN will also need to find a replacement for Taylor as host of “NBA Countdown”, the pre-game show. and part-time from ESPN.



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Newsrust - US Top News: ESPN cancels Nichols show after Maria Taylor comments
ESPN cancels Nichols show after Maria Taylor comments
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