The daughter of ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose fanned the flames of the controversy surrounding host Rachel Nichols and reporter Maria Taylor on Monday.
Mariah Rose ripped Nichols in a video breakdown amid the drama surrounding Nichols’ comments about Taylor, which first surfaced in The New York Times over the weekend.
“Let’s quickly talk about miss Rachel Nichols… let’s talk about how you’re related to Dianne Sawyer arguably the queen of ABC,” Rose said in the video posted to TikTok.
“You are a woman in the sports world and you sat there and you laughed about the Me Too movement, about your fellow women complaining about being sexually assaulted at work, do you think that’s funny? What really got me is that you’re tired of the Black Lives Matter movement, because you weren’t tired posting about it or making your stupid little storybook monologues about it, maybe instead of crying and calling Maria a diversity token you can direct that energy to the people that think there can only be one woman on that stage.
“And if we’re being real Rachel Nichols is a subpar reporter, subpar, boring, not great, I’m sorry your white privilege didn’t work this time, maybe next time.”
The clip in The New York Times showed Nichols complaining about Taylor getting Nichols’ NBA Finals hosting gig last year over what she suggested was “diversity” reasons.
Nichols apologized on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Monday and was defended by co-hosts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson in the process.
“So, the first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story. And I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals,” Nichols said.
“But I also don’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.”
The New York Times clip showed Nichols complaining about Taylor getting the gig. She was talking to LeBron James’ adviser Adam Mendelsohn and was unaware she was being recorded.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said. “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.
“I just want them to go somewhere else — it’s in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing.
Nichols, who is White, initially joined ESPN in 2004 and was a regular on the network’s flagship show “SportsCenter” as well as the NFL and NBA shows. She left ESPN for CNN in 2013 and was seen doing sideline reporting for TNT’s NBA broadcasts from 2013 to 2016. She re-joined ESPN in 2016. Her husband’s stepmother is Diane Sawyer.
Taylor, who is Black, had primarily been seen on ESPN’s coverage of college football since joining the company in 2013. She started hosting “NBA Countdown” in 2019.
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