Following controversial comments that leaked last month, Rachel Nichols has been removed from all of ESPN’s NBA programming.
Per Sports Business Journal, Nicholas has been taken off of NBA coverage and her weekday afternoon show The Jump will be canceled. “We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned,” said ESPN Senior VP of Production David Roberts. “Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content.”
She is still under contract with ESPN, but the remaining episodes of The Jump set to air over the coming weeks will not be hosted by Nichols.
After the story broke, Nichols shared on Instagram: “Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people ❤️ talking about one my favorite things 🏀 An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. 😎 More to come…”
In comments originally made during a private conversation last year, Nichols could be heard complaining that her co-worker Maria Taylor got her role hosting the NBA Finals because ESPN was “feeling pressure” regarding its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world—she covers football, she covers basketball,” she said in the conversation, which later leaked this July. “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.”
Shortly after audio of the conversation circulated online, Nichols issued a public apology and she was removed from NBA Finals coverage. She said she was “deeply, deeply sorry” for what she said.