ESPN’s Maria Taylor issued her first public statements since co-worker Rachel Nichols was heard on leaked audio insinuating Taylor earned her NBA Finals hosting job because she’s Black. Following The New York Times’ article covering fallout at ESPN over the matter and Nichols’ removal from the NBA Finals sideline coverage, Taylor addressed the public for the first time since the scandal.
“During the dark times I always remember that I am in this position to open doors and light the path that others walk down,” Taylor wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always KEEP RISING.”
Following the leaked audio, Rachel Nichols was replaced by Malika Andrews as the new sideline reporter for the NBA Finals despite issuing a public during Monday’s episode of “The Jump.” The recent scandal comes as Taylor’s contract with ESPN is set to expire later this month. She’s already turned down a deal that would pay her nearly $5 million per year. Taylor’s current salary is $1 million.