ESPN host Maria Taylor will be leaving the sports network, weeks after remarks by a coworker suggesting Taylor’s race was a factor in her promotion and assignments became public.
Taylor and ESPN jointly announced the departure Wednesday.
“After much discussion, an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached. As a result, Maria’s last assignment for ESPN was last night’s NBA Finals telecast,” the statement reads.
Taylor’s portion of the statement reflects on her “great teammates and friends” she has worked with at the network. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation,” she stated.
Earlier this month, a recorded conversation involving ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols became public. Nichols, who is white, suggests to the person she is talking to that Taylor got her job hosting NBA Countdown because she is Black.
According to the Associated Press, Nichols said she wishes "Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
After the comments became public, Nichols was removed from her reporting assignment.