*ESPN has reportedly offered Maria Taylor a very lucrative contract worth $3 million per year, according to reports.
The news comes amid the controversy over reporter Rachel Nichols’ private comments about the network’s decision to have Taylor, who is Black, host the NBA Finals, as reported by Black Enterprise.
As we previously reported… in the conversation, Nichols, who is white, expressed frustration that Taylor had been chosen over her to host “NBA Countdown” during last year’s NBA Finals, suggesting that the network made the decision because it was “feeling pressure” on diversity.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in July 2020. “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.”
The recording revealed Nichols’ belief that ESPN only picked Taylor because they were “feeling pressure” about its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
The New York Times reproted that several of ESPN’s top NBA analysts had considered boycotting this year’s playoffs over how the company handled the situation.
Taylor recently spoke out about the leaked recording, saying, “During the dark times I always remember that I am in this position to open doors and light the path that others walk down.” Taylor captioned a tweet that included photos of Black media personalities in sports. “I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always KEEP RISING.”
Taylor’s contract with ESPN is reportedly up in less than 2 weeks on July 20.
Meanwhile, ESPN removed Nichols as the sideline reporter for the NBA Finals and replaced her with reporter Malika Andrews.