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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

‘Dark Times’: Maria Taylor sends first tweet since Rachel Nichols controversy

Maria Taylor

ESPN host Maria Taylor has appeared on TV since the explosive New York Times story about her issues with the network and colleague Rachel Nichols was published on Sunday. However, she did not address the situation directly or indirectly until Wednesday.

Taylor on Wednesday sent a tweet for the first time since July 1. Her message suggested she was going through “dark times.”

Taylor is a top reporter for college football and NBA games for ESPN. She hosts “NBA Countdown” and replaced Nichols as the show’s host during the NBA Finals last year.

Nichols, who is white, expressed frustration in a private conversation last year that was recorded by an ESPN employee and leaked throughout the company. The clips were later leaked to the media, leading to Sunday’s story. Nichols said in the conversation that she felt ESPN executives took away her contractual role of hosting the NBA Finals and gave it to Taylor, who is black, to cover up their history of problems with minorities.

Nichols lost her NBA Finals hosting job to Taylor and then was replaced in her role as the reporter for this year’s Finals by Malika Andrews, another black woman. The Tuesday edition of Nichols’ daily show “The Jump” was also canceled this week.

Taylor’s contract with ESPN is expiring in a few weeks. She reportedly turned down $5 million a year from the network and has been seeking around $8 million.

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