Like Hannah Nikole-Jones before her, NBA Countdown and NBA Finals host Maria Taylor will not be where she is not wanted.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced that it is parting ways with the host after failing to come to terms on a contract extension, and I can think of one mediocre white woman whose name rhymes with Bachel Bickels who is happy that she can now steal her slot.
According to Deadline, the sports network waited until Taylor’s final assignment, “covering the deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals won by the Milwaukee Bucks” to make the announcement.
“Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, in a memo Wednesday, Deadline reports. “There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we remain determined to continue to build a deep and skilled talent roster that thoroughly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve. While she chose to pursue a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we’ve done together.”
Taylor also issued her own statement noting how thankful she was for the people who believed in her.
“So thankful to [ESPN Chairman] Jimmy [Pitaro] and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family—the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up,” Taylor said in a statement, the Daily Beast reports. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
Taylor became news after a video of one of ESPN’s highest-profile anchors, Rachel Nichols, was leaked and it showed the on-air host bashing Taylor and sounding like a Karen and a mean girl had a baby.
Nichols had done the white ally thing that some white folks do where they support Black folks up until the point that they feel surpassed or overlooked and then they hate on them and talk bad about them privately. After the New York Times exposed the whole thing, Nichols tried to apologize to Taylor, but Taylor was like,
“Whatever, you meant that shit.” “I’m good love, enjoy.”
The Daily Beast notes that Taylor is close to signing a deal with NBC that would have her covering the Tokyo Olympics. Maybe now that Taylor is gone, Nichols can continue to do the “I don’t know why everyone thinks I’m such a bad person” face she’s been doing and ESPN can give her some of the money Taylor walked away from and Black former NBA players can continue to talk about how non-racist Nichols is.