Saturday, October 1, 2022

Former ESPNer Rachel Nichols Joins Showtime Sports

Rachel Nichols Joins Showtime

Sports journalist Rachel Nichols has landed a new gig in Showtime’s sports division, a year after ESPN canceled her show and removed her from basketball coverage reports The Wall Street Journal.

On her Twitter account, Ms. Nichols posted a statement from Showtime Basketball welcoming her to the network. She is expected to work as a host and producer on a range of content across multiple platforms for Showtime. 

She wrote on the social media platform: “Thrilled to be partnering with @Showtime and getting back to celebrating what we love most about sports. We’re gonna have so. much. fun.“

In her debut appearance on Showtime, she spoke about her former employer and the circumstances that led to her eventual departure from ESPN. 

In the summer of 2021, ESPN removed Nichols from its National Basketball Association coverage and canceled her weekday afternoon show, “The Jump.” 

That decision came about a month after the New York Times reported on a recording of a phone call Nichols made in July 2020. On that call, she complained that the job of anchoring “NBA Countdown” telecasts had gone to another ESPN personality, Maria Taylor, instead of her. Nichols is white; Taylor is Black.

Nichols and Taylor

Nichols addressed the issue Friday on Showtime’s “All the Smoke” podcast with former NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, offering her take on what transpired leading to her eventual departure from ESPN. 

She said she believes the audio recording of her conversation was strategically leaked, and that her frustrations expressed on the call had more to do with issues of being a female journalist in sports media as opposed to any particular problem with Taylor.

ESPN didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Ms. Nichols’ remarks.  

Ms. Nichols had previously apologized to Ms. Taylor on her show before it was sidelined. Ms. Taylor left ESPN in July 2021 and currently works at NBC.

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