A day after the New York Times exposed “The Jump’ host Rachel Nichols, the ESPN host has now apologized on air.
Nichols spent the first few seconds of the program on July 5 apologizing to colleague Maria Taylor, who was the focus of Nichols’ comments.
However, it wasn’t her apology that caught social media users’ eyes. Instead, they were left fuming at Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson, who both waded in a controversy they had nothing to do with.
Nichols made headlines on July 4 after it was revealed she was at the heart of a massive conflict at ESPN.
Nichols was apparently not very happy that the network had tapped Taylor to lead NBA coverage.
She then reportedly asked for advice from longtime LeBron James advisor Adam Mendelssohn and James’ agent Rich Paul on the matter.
The story comes at a difficult time for ESPN, as Dan Le Batard left the network in 2020 over a similarly controversial hiring decision.
In April 2021, ESPN fired analyst and former basketball legend Paul Pierce after he posted a racy Instagram live with strippers.
If ‘The Jump’ was hoping to put the controversy to bed, they have managed just the exact opposite at this trying time.
Fans were fuming at Jefferson and Perkins, who clearly gave the controversy more air time than was deemed necessary.
Much of the fans anger stems from the opening segment of ‘The Jump’ which Nichols usually reserves for an NBA-centric monologue.
She gave an apology to her ESPN colleagues and of course she singled out Maria Taylor.
The brief apology was followed by comments from Perkins and Jefferson who again have nothing to do with this situation.
The both of them proceeded to address Nichols’ comments instead of focusing on sports.
Perkins thanked Nichols for taking responsibility for her actions,” and even offered a sort of endorsement.
He said “I know your heart, great person and great individual.”
Jefferson then picked up, adding “Rachel and our entire group here have had some very difficult conversations over this time period, and those conversations don’t end here.
We will continue to have these uncomfortable conversations and no one is excused.”
Nichols closed the segment by saying “Thank you guys, both, for being here with me today.”
Black people aren’t really buying the apology.
🔥🔥🔥 This take is so hot it burns the eyes watching it https://t.co/KkfQD7m0bY
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) July 6, 2021
Again why are two former NBA stars who had nothing to do with this controversy wading around in it? Why did they feel the need to talk as long as they did about it and at the same time make Nichols feel okay with what she did?
I truly believe ESPN asked them to do it and they obliged. Again our caucasian counterparts get to say or do as they please and then Black people are asked to provide “DAMAGE CONTROL.”
On Tuesday morning ahead of the NBA Finals ESPN removed Nichols Nichols off the sidelines for the NBA Finals, and replaced her with Malika Andrews.
Her episode of “The Jump” on Tuesday was also cancelled.
Another former ESPN talking head, Michelle Beadle, appeared to have some fun at the network’s expense Tuesday, posting a laughing meme from “Goodfellas.”
But again why did ESPN even feel the need to have “DAMAGE CONTROL” done before making these decisions.