ESPN has taken Rachel Nichols off its N.B.A. programming and canceled “The Soar,” the day by day basketball present she has hosted for 5 years, the community confirmed Wednesday.
The present’s cancellation comes one month after The New York Instances reported on disparaging feedback made by Nichols about Maria Taylor, considered one of her colleagues at ESPN on the time. In a dialog with an adviser to the Lakers star LeBron James, Nichols, who’s white, mentioned that Taylor, who’s Black, had been chosen to host 2020 N.B.A. finals protection as an alternative of her as a result of ESPN executives had been “feeling strain” on range.
Nichols was unaware the dialog was being recorded. Taylor has since left ESPN and joined NBC.
“We mutually agreed that this method concerning our N.B.A. protection was finest for all involved,” mentioned Dave Roberts, the manager who oversees ESPN’s N.B.A. studio exhibits.
The strikes had been first reported by Sports activities Enterprise Journal.
It’s unclear whether or not Nichols will probably be on ESPN’s airwaves once more. She signed a contract extension final yr, however ESPN declined to say whether or not she’s going to seem on different exhibits. A consultant for Nichols didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Within the wake of the Instances report, ESPN removed Nichols from her function as a sideline reporter for the N.B.A. finals and canceled one episode of “The Soar.” However she continued internet hosting the present by means of the finals till Aug. 16, when she went on trip. Malika Andrews hosted for the remainder of the week in her absence.
Roberts is the ESPN government who determined to finish “The Soar” and pull Nichols from N.B.A. studio programming. Two weeks in the past, he received a promotion and took over a number of the duties beforehand held by Stephanie Druley, the manager who beforehand oversaw N.B.A. studio programming and the one that needed to take care of Nichols’s feedback on the recorded name.
The cancellation of “The Soar” is only one a part of a broader reshuffling of ESPN’s daytime lineup.
On Tuesday, ESPN introduced that Max Kellerman was leaving “First Take” — the place he had sparred with Stephen A. Smith — to host a brand new present that’s being developed. That present will doubtless be within the afternoon, as will probably be a brand new day by day N.B.A. present that may supplant “The Soar.”