Houston Rockets detractor Rachel Nichols’ comments underline privilege
There is a long list of issues with Nichols’ comments towards Taylor. For starters, Taylor is supremely talented at her job, as has shown the ability to handle any and everything that ESPN has thrown at her.
We’ve seen her cover volleyball, professional and collegiate basketball, and NFL and college football. Taylor has proven to be willing to ask tough questions, like this one that got under legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban’s skin.
Taylor wasn’t rattled or affected at all by Saban’s frustration towards her. Could Nichols have handled that the same way?
Probably not, seeing how she got that bent out of shape from simply getting a temporary re-assignment by someone who is more talented than her. Taylor is and has been the better choice for any NBA coverage than Nichols, not to mention the fact that she actually played the sport, earning both a volleyball and basketball scholarship to the University of Georgia, where she ranks fourth all-time in total points scored on the hardwood and fourth all-time in kills.
In spite of her qualifications and credentials, Nichols stated that Taylor got the nod simply because of what she described as “all of that”, which is undermining the social climate of racial injustice that’s been heightened and has led to countless lost lives due to police brutality and blatant racism. Yet she tried to place herself in the bucket of diversity?
How so, when she can’t even address the exact nature of the race issues? Or when she’s not willing to allow an African-American woman to have an opportunity to cover an event that she covers every year for merely two-weeks?
Nichols hosts an entire show, The Jump, while Taylor has oftentimes had to fill-in or substitute on shows like First Take or The Jump, all because she hasn’t been given the full-time opportunity that Nichols has long been granted.
Unfortunately for ESPN, they appear on the cusp of losing the multi-talented Taylor and will have to settle for Nichols. And unfortunately that means we’ll all have to hear more awful Houston Rockets takes.