Rachel Nichols Issues Apology For Maria Taylor Comments (VIDEO)

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We all knew it was coming and now it is here. Rachel Nichols opened Monday’s episode of The Jump by addressing reports that surfaced over the weekend regarding an ongoing rift with Maria Taylor.

In leaked audio, Nichols can be heard making disparaging comments about her colleague, suggesting ESPN gave Taylor the NBA Finals gig as a “diversity hire.” The comments made the rounds at the Worldwide Leader’s offices and led to some behind-the-scenes drama.

Nichols began the show with a quick statement on the situation, saying she was “deeply, deeply sorry” about the comments.

“I also didn’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect and how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN, how deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt—particularly Maria Taylor—, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team,” she said to the camera.

Nichols received messages of support from her co-hosts Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson.

As for Taylor, she has yet to address the situation and is currently in contract negotiations with ESPN as her current deal is about to expire. There has also been speculation that Taylor could part ways with the network as she seeks “Stephen A. Smith money.” Taylor recently turned down a $5 million per year offer, per reports.

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