ESPN host Rachel Nichols was caught in a racist rant against a black fellow employee, claiming that Maria Taylor got the job as host of the program "NBA Countdown" in 2020 because she is Black. The leaked conversation was held between Nicholas and Adam Mendelsohn, an adviser to LeBron James.
The rant which was caught on a camera has gone viral on social media with many cancelling the broadcaster.
Nichols Was Venting Out Her Anger on Phone
In the video, which was acquired and shared by The New York Times, Nichols is seen speaking on phone with Mendelsohn during her quarantine in Orlando hotel in July last year. The quarantine was in wake of the NBA's resumed bubble season.
"I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball," Nichols is heard saying. "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," she went on to add.
According to the outlet, Nichols had a camera, which was hooked up to record back to ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, set up in her room. The camera was to help Nichols continue hosting "The Jump" during her quarantine from her hotel room. Most at the network believed Nichols did not shut off the camera properly, the Times reported.
Nichols Spoke About Her Contract in the Leaked Tape
The outlet reported that the recording was stored on one of ESPN's servers, which many employees have access to. An unknown employee then recorded the conversation on its cell phone and sent it to others within the company. The leaked recording finally found its way to the the Times.
"I just want them to go somewhere else — it's in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing," she is heard talking further.
The Times also reported that many ESPN employees who are Black believe the conversation indicates that things said in private reflect a non-supportive attitude toward them that's never publicly stated.
"Those same people — who are, like, generally white conservative male Trump voters — is part of the reason I've had a hard time at ESPN," Nichols said on the leaked tape. "I basically finally just outworked everyone for so long that they had to recognize it. I don't want to then be a victim of them trying to play catch-up for the same damage that affected me in the first place, you know what I mean. So I'm trying to just be nice."