Rachel Nichols recently appeared on the “All The Smoke” podcast and gave her perspective of why she was released from ESPN.
The hosts of the “All The Smoke” podcast, former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, got their start in sports journalism on “The Jump,” Rachel’s former show on ESPN.
Matt and Stephen fully support Rachel, and they shot down the idea that she is a racist throughout the interview.
Rachel Nichols was released from ESPN a year after a recording of her on a private line at the 2020 NBA Finals leaked of her implying that her female colleague Maria Taylor was a diversity hire.
According to Rachel, ESPN held onto her leaked private conversation with her friend for a year, and “when there was a point they wanted some leverage with their situations they fed it to the press.”
On the podcast, Rachel read what she said in the private conversation that led to her release to clear up what she meant by the words she used.
She also apologized to Maria Taylor on the podcast, and she said she tried to reach out to her numerous times, but she was told that Maria did not want to talk to her.
I feel very sorry that any of this touched Maria Taylor.
Because she is a fellow woman in this business, it wasn’t her fault what was going on, I wasn’t talking about her actions, I was talking about someone else.
And to even bring her into it, that was a mistake on my part, and if I caused her to be upset in anyway that stinks I don’t want to be that person.
Right, I don’t want to do that, so I called, I texted, I asked our supervisors to set up a meeting, and I was just told she wasn’t interested in talking to me, which is of course that’s her thing.
And I thought that when this became public I should also apologize on air, and I did that.
After being released from ESPN, ESPN renamed the show “NBA Today” and elevated analyst Malika Andrews as the host.
Maria Taylor left ESPN, and she is thriving at NBC Sports.
Matt and Stephen announced at the beginning of the podcast that Rachel will be joining the Showtime Sports team.
Watch the Rachel Nichols “All The Smoke” interview below:
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