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ESPN takes Nichols off NBA Finals duty after leaked comments

Rachel Nichols arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Posted at 1:01 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 16:01:20-04

PHOENIX (AP) — ESPN has replaced Rachel Nichols as its sideline reporter for the NBA Finals following a report detailing critical comments she made about Black colleague Maria Taylor.

The network announced Tuesday that Malika Andrews would handle that role for the series between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks. Nichols has been the sideline reporter for its top national games this season and for last year’s NBA Finals.

But the switch was made after the New York Times reported Sunday on her comments last year, when she learned Taylor would lead the network’s studio show instead of her during the league’s restart at Walt Disney World.