ESPN Wednesday officially pulled on-air personality Rachel Nichols from any of its future NBA coverage and has canceled the Nichols-hosted NBA daily show The Jump amid continuing fallout over controversial comments she made against a former colleague.
The move, first reported by SportsBusiness Journal, comes a month after a New York Times report revealed Nichols was heard making controversial comments about fellow ESPN colleague Maria Taylor, after Taylor replaced Nichols as host of ESPN’s NBA Countdown show during the NBA Finals in 2020.
After Nichols' comments that Taylor was named NBA Countdown host to to cover up the network’s "crappy" record on diversity were made public, ESPN last month pulled Nichols from working the network’s NBA Finals coverage while Taylor hosted ESPN’s NBA Countdown pre-game and halftime program. After the NBA Finals concluded, Taylor left ESPN for NBC Sports.
ESPN senior VP of production Dave Roberts said in a statement that the decisions were “mutual” and the best moves for the network's NBA coverage going forward.
In a Wednesday afternoon tweet, Nichols said The Jump was "never built to last forever," adding that her five-year experience with the show "was fun."
It's unclear if Nichols will appear on the network in the future.
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… pic.twitter.com/FPMFRlfJinAugust 25, 2021
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.