ESPN Reporter’s BTS Revelation Creates Sparks

Photo by Tim Mossholder

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the debacle involving ESPN reporter, Rachel Nichols. If not, you’ll probably hear more about it soon since it has now trended on Twitter for approximately 24 hours straight, even during the nation’s celebration. To summarize, in a recorded discussion which took place last year, Rachel Nichols, a white reporter, discussed her discontent with the possibility of Maria Taylor, an African American reporter with the network, being preferred for a position to cover the finals. During the conversation, Nichols added, “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.”

Many of the comments and reactions on social media following this leak have also focused on Rachel Nichols’s reaction to a comment made by Adam Mendelsohn, one of LeBron James’s PR advisor. “I’m exhausted. Between #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, I got nothing left.” Nichols’s laugh seemed to validate or adopt his sentiment which spices this situation up even more. This also makes me wonder “who’ll be in charge of PR for this PR advisor?”

The conversations that have come from this situation have focused to highlight how it is possible for an individual to pretend to care about a cause or movement until it appears to cost them something. Additionally, the reactions on social media have focused on the fact that this took place last year and that when ESPN’s human resource department learned there was a recording and that it had been shared with Taylor, the only person punished through all of this was the person who informed Taylor.

Everyone has comments, which is understandable. We all have opinions and want to be heard, but some have tried to redirect the focus and energy. Other TV personalities are guilty of this as well.

I understand what Amin El Hassan is trying to say, but this is not a great response to legitimate questions and concerns about Nichol’s role in THIS situation. If she helps grandmas cross the road every other day in her life, that’s great! But she can and should be criticized for tripping and licking another grandma. I know, exaggerated example but now you understand the point. Amin must understand this. Those rushing to Rachel Nichols’s defense or trying to sweep her comments under the rug must understand this and address it appropriately.

Since the leak of all this information, Rachel Nichols has not tweeted a peep. I have the notifications on, so I’ll be right on top of it once that changes. But until then, here are a few responses from others about this whole situation. What do you think? Let us know.