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Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN, network announces

Sports reporter Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN right after she and the network failed to attain an arrangement on a contract extension, the organization declared Wednesday.

“So grateful to Jimmy [Pitaro] and all of my great teammates and close friends at the SEC Network, ‘College GameDay’, Women’s and Men’s faculty basketball, and the ‘NBA Countdown’ family members — the men and women who believed in me, inspired me, pushed me, and lifted me up,” Taylor said in a statement. “Words and phrases are inadequate to convey my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”

Previously this thirty day period, the network announced that Taylor would return as the pregame and halftime host for the NBA Finals, which wrapped Tuesday night time with the Milwaukee Bucks having the championship.

ESPN claimed in its assertion Wednesday that Taylor’s very last assignment for the community was her Finals telecast during Sport 6.

“Maria’s amazing good results speaks directly to her abilities and operate ethic. There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we continue being established to carry on to develop a deep and experienced expertise roster that carefully demonstrates the athletes we cover and the admirers we serve. Though she selected to go after a new possibility, we are proud of the get the job done we’ve performed together,” community chairman Jimmy Pitaro mentioned in a assertion.

The departure will come weeks immediately after Taylor’s colleague, ESPN broadcaster Rachel Nichols, apologized for suggesting that Taylor was picked to host previous year’s Finals because the network was beneath stress to handle its “crappy longtime record on diversity.” Taylor is Black.

“So the to start with issue they educate you in journalism faculty is you should not be the tale. And I do not system to crack that rule now or distract from a superb finals, but I also you should not want to permit this minute move with out saying how significantly I regard, how considerably I worth our colleagues here at ESPN,” Nichols started on the July 5 episode of “The Bounce.”

“How deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing all those I harm, specifically Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be a element of this fantastic workforce.”

Nichols built the controversial comments about Taylor throughout a leaked telephone simply call previous 12 months with Adam Mendelsohn, LeBron James’ adviser, and James’ agent, Rich Paul, in accordance to The New York Occasions, which published excerpts of the connect with.

For the duration of the conversation, Nichols vented about Taylor’s being chosen to host the 2020 NBA Finals coverage. Nichols, who is white, experienced envisioned to host the protection and was instead asked to be a sideline reporter.

“Guess what that would clear the way for? For Maria to do the hosting whole time,” she states. “I wish Maria Taylor all the achievement in the globe — she handles football, she handles basketball. If you have to have to give her a lot more issues to do since you are experience pressure about your crappy longtime file on range — which, by the way, I know personally from the feminine facet of it — like, go for it. Just discover it somewhere else. You are not likely to find it from me or having my point away.”

The New York Periods described that Nichols unintentionally recorded the get in touch with on a digital camera that feeds video clip to ESPN’s regulate home. The audio from the simply call was then recorded on a cellphone from the control home and shared with others.

Shortly soon after Nichols’ apology, ESPN pulled her as a sideline reporter for this year’s Finals and changed her with reporter Malika Andrews.

This is a breaking story. Please test back for updates.

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