Former NBA player Stephen Jackson came to the defense of ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, after she made comments about her colleague Maria Taylor, calling it a “diversity” hire when the 24-hour sports network gave her the hosting job of “NBA Countdown” during the 2020 NBA Finals inside the Orlando bubble.
The story came about after The New York Times on Sunday made public a leaked audio recording of Nichols, who failed to turn off her video camera following a live broadcast on the network.
Jackson, who has made several appearances on Nichols’ ESPN show, “The Jump”, defended her and blamed the network for the issue after they gave Taylor “a sympathy job” amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We all ramble. We say things when we are frustrated. And you know, Rachel [Nichols] did deserve that job. It’s just plain and simple. I talked to Rachel and I know a lot of things she was saying out of frustration because ESPN put her in a bad position,” Jackson said during a rant on Instagram. “And they even put Maria [Taylor] in a position trying to give her a sympathy job.
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“They were trying to make themselves look good because all the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd stuff was going on. So ESPN tried to make themselves look good by taking the job from Rachel that she had already had, that they already told her she had, that she deserved, and give it to Maria just to make themselves look good.”
Jackson continued: “It wasn’t a genuine job they wanted to give Maria. ESPN is behind all of this. It’s all their fault. I can’t blame Rachel, I love Rachel, and I’m going to stand behind her. I spoke to her. And I’m going to stand behind Maria, too.”
In the video obtained by the New York Times, Nichols praised Taylor, saying that she wishes here “all the success in the world”, but followed that by blaming ESPN for its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”
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SOURCE: Fox News, Daniel Canova