This decision is not that surprising, as Taylor’s contract was coming to an end. But her exit is notable because it comes just weeks after comments from one of her colleagues sparked a controversy that involved Taylor and ESPN.
Earlier this month, the New York Times published an explosive story regarding the comments of Rachel Nichols, another NBA analyst for ESPN, about Taylor. The Times reported on a leaked recording of a private conversation last year in which Nichols, who is white, says that Taylor, who is black, was chosen to lead the coverage of the NBA Finals. last year due to the company’s diversity efforts.
Nichols apologized on the air after the news, saying she was “deeply, deeply sorry to have disappointed those I have hurt, especially Maria Taylor”.
ESPN said on Wednesday that “after much discussion, an agreement on a contract extension could not be reached.”
“So grateful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends across the SEC Network, College GameDay, College Girls and Boys Basketball and the NBA Countdown Family – the people who believed in me cheered me on, m ‘pushed and raised me,’ Taylor said in a statement. “Words are insufficient to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud. “
Jimmy Pitaro, President of ESPN and Sports Content, added that “Taylor’s remarkable success is a direct testament to his abilities and work ethic.”
“There is no doubt that we will miss Maria, but we remain committed to continuing to build a roster of deep and skilled talent that perfectly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve,” he said in a statement. communicated. “Although she has chosen to seize a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we have accomplished together. “
The next step for Taylor remains to be determined. However, it was reported by The New York Post that Taylor is heading to NBC as part of the network’s upcoming Olympics coverage.