Rachel Nichols – a featured anchor for ESPN, covering all things the NBA – was filmed last year talking to James lebron‘publicist on how to stop another host, who is black, from resuming her job during the finale… and the fallout looks devastating.
the New York Times released an explosive report on Sunday, detailing the sports network’s drama over the past year and changing … this after a video of Nichols speaking to Adam mendelsohn was secretly recorded by an ESPN employee, leaked … and spread like wildfire.
Nichols was working / filming from a hotel room last May as the NBA Playoffs began (due to the pandemic) and it looks like she left her camera on somehow, and the thing was still recording when she had this conversation with Mendelsohn … with the stream going back to the ESPN studio, where someone captured the damning words exchanged.
In the first clip released by The Times, you can hear Nichols talking to Mendelsohn – who is a PR / communications ace – about how ESPN approached her with the idea of doing side reporting during the Finals this past. that year, as opposed to hosting – – a task Nichols shared from time to time with Maria taylor, another rising star … who is African American.
Check out the convo… Nichols basically says she declined ESPN’s offer, because she knew it would make way for Maria to handle the full-time hosting duties, essentially pushing Nichols out of the picture… because she wanted to maintain her concert.
Nichols goes on to say of Maria soon after … “If you have to give her more stuff to do because you’re feeling the pressure from your long-standing record for diversity – whatever, by the way. By the way, I personally know the feminine side of it – like, go ahead. “She adds,” Just find it somewhere else. You’re not going to find it at my house or take my stuff away. “
In a second audio clip… Mendelsohn is heard giving advice to Nichols on how she could frame ESPN’s dynamic pitting two women against each other in order to gain influence, even if it would potentially be at the expense of Maria. He also had some interesting thoughts on #MeToo and BLM, claiming he had “nothing left” and was exhausted … in what looks like what he (and perhaps Nichols) considered a Executive level flattering / calming faux.
After this video / audio was released internally among ESPN employees, it finally rose to the top ranks … and the NYT reports that the network has been in damage control mode ever since, with fears that Nichols may continue – and that Taylor can leave entirely.
The latter’s contract is up this year … and word is that she hasn’t responded to Nichols’ attempts to apologize or make peace. Messy stuff, for sure … and very revealing.