ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols on Monday broke her silence on the entire fiasco involving her and colleague Maria Taylor. In an episode of The Jump, a somber-looking Nichols apologized for her seemingly racist comments on Taylor. She also expressed her gratitude to ESPN for the opportunities given to her.
While several NBA players sided with Taylor in the controversy, Nichols got the support of his co-hosts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson. The two former NBA players vouched for Nichols’ character, with Perkins saying he has always appreciated her treatment of him.
“For someone who’s known you for a long time, being around you, you have treated me with utmost respect and you always made me feel comfortable in your presence. I know your heart. (You’re a) great person, great individual.
Rachel Nichols opening comments on Monday’s live episode of “The Jump”: pic.twitter.com/VpI826k0pp
— meg turner (@megnturner_) July 5, 2021
Perkins and Jefferson, however, also acknowledged the fact that Nichols’ actions had adverse effects, especially on Taylor. While they gave their support to Nichols, they also addressed the issue at large, with Perkins saying everyone should be more responsible.
“I also know Maria Taylor. She’s a great person as well, very, very talented, hardworking, and I also feel like she deserves every opportunity that’s presented in her way. My only hope is we have a commitment to support each other through this process.”
Jefferson echoed Perkins’ remarks, adding what happened should be a teaching moment for everyone.
“I’ve known Rachel for 20 years. Rachel and our entire group here have had some very difficult conversations over our time here, and those conversations end here, we will continue those uncomfortable conversations. No one is excused. This doesn’t just go away. We have to learn and understand and become better for each other.”
It’s still unclear how huge Rachel Nichols’ role would be for ESPN in the NBA Finals.