ESPN has pulled reporter Rachel Nichols off the court for the NBA Finals after comments she made about a colleague and the network caused an uproar—despite her apology. Nichols had been scheduled to be the main sideline reporter for the Finals, which begin Tuesday, per the Hill. "We believe this is best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals," a network statement said. "Rachel will continue to host The Jump"—the show on which Nichols apologized Monday.
The New York Times had reported over the weekend about the tension at the network over Nichols' past comments on losing the playoffs hosting job to Maria Taylor, as well as criticism of the network's thinking on racial diversity. Taylor is Black; Nichols is white. Nichols' replacement on the NBA sidelines will be Malika Andrews, who is Black. Nichols was the sideline reporter for the Finals for the first time last season, per Fox News. She replaced Doris Burke, who had the job for 11 years. (Read more ESPN stories.)