Asked about the controversy over Nichols’ leaked comments about ESPN and Taylor, Silver called the situation “disheartening.”
“I think it’s particularly unfortunate that two women in the industry are facing each other,” he continued. “I know Rachel and Maria are great at what they do. They work extraordinarily hard.
Silver, usually political, also added a sharper remark apparently directed against the reaction to Nichols’ comments about Taylor by saying that “we should judge people by the larger context of their work, who they are and what we do. know about them. . ”
Rachel Nichols’ show “The Jump” was replaced on ESPN Tuesday hours before the start of the NBA Finals
The popular Silver saw the league go through a pandemic, a playoff bubble and, in the midst of that, took action to meet player demands during the protests against the death of George Floyd last summer.
“These issues are not specific to ESPN,” Silver said. “The league is working on its own issues to do a better job with diversity. Not just in sports, but in businesses across America. There is a calculation in progress.
In this context, he wondered why ESPN had not found a way to resolve the dispute in the year since the Nichols recording leaked. He also offered a suggestion from his own conflict resolution manual.
“I think part of the problem is when people can’t walk into a room and talk about these issues – it seems to be getting worse now for a full year,” Silver said. “I would have thought that over the past year, perhaps through some incredibly difficult conversations, ESPN would have found a way to be able to fix it. Obviously not. “
Such situations, he said, “require a very labor intensive effort… to create an atmosphere where people are comfortable speaking what they think, where people have the benefit of. doubt, especially long-time employees who are in good standing when making comments that people recognize that people make mistakes – that careers should not be erased by a single comment.
Watch Silver’s full press conference below.
LIVE: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver #NBAFinales Media availability. https://t.co/0yGyMPVM3a
– NBA (@NBA) July 7, 2021