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ESPN Pulls Rachel Nichols From NBA Programming, Ending The Jump

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

ESPN is down another female sportscaster. Rachel Nichols, host of basketball program The Jump, has been removed from the network’s coverage. The weekday basketball news show is canceled and will be replaced with an entirely different show, said the network. “We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned,” said David Roberts, senior vice president for NBA production at ESPN, in a statement. “Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content.” The decision comes after a July 4 New York Times report exposed audio of Nichols complaining that her colleague Maria Taylor, who is Black, was chosen to host NBA Countdown during last year’s Finals because of the network’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.” Taylor has since left ESPN and moved to NBC Sports, where she debuted at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Nichols was pulled from the network’s sideline coverage during the 2021 Finals and replaced with Malika Andrews. Rachel Nichols will still be under contract with ESPN for the remaining year, though she’s “not likely” to appear on-air. “Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people talking about one my favorite things,” Nichols wrote on Twitter. “An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew - The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun.” ESPN is now on the hunt to fill two spots. Good luck! We hear finding the right host is total jeopardy.

ESPN Pulls Rachel Nichols From All NBA Programming