Following reporter Rachel Nichols’ leaked video scandal, Maria Taylor parted ways with ESPN, with a recent press release from the sports network stating that “an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached.” According to the New York Post, the Black journalist has joined NBC Sports and is covering Tokyo Olympics.
In a statement released last week, Taylor stated about her departure from ESPN, “So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up. Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
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Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN, added in the press release, “Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic. There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we remain determined to continue to build a deep and skilled talent roster that thoroughly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve. While she chose to pursue a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we’ve done together.”
The 2021 NBA Finals was the Georgia native’s last covered event for the network. Taylor, who herself played college basketball and volleyball, will soon bring her talents to NBC and cover the accomplished athletes competing this summer at the Tokyo Olympics, the New York Post reported.
Sister 2 Sister previously reported that Nichols, host of ESPN’s The Jump, found herself in hot water after she was heard in a leaked video implying that Taylor got hired as a 2020 NBA Finals host due to her race. The 47-year-old white reporter later issued an apology on her hosted show, according to Sports Illustrated, saying she didn’t “want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN, how deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team.”