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Rachel Nichols Pulled From Sideline Coverage by ESPN Following Comments About Colleague

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(Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)

Sideline commentator Rachel Nichols was pulled from her position covering the NBA Finals earlier this week after comments concerning her colleague Maria Taylor surfaced.

What We Know:

  • Nichols has been the sideline reporter for ESPN at several national games and was present at last year’s finals. She was replaced with newcomer Malika Andrews after a New York Times article was published referencing a recording acquired by the paper. Taylor had been selected to lead the network’s studio show, and Nichols said, “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball. If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it.”
  • The racial implications of Nichols’ comments have put the network under fire. ESPN pulled Nichols in hopes of getting a handle on the situation. She is off the sidelines for the finals but will still be hosting her afternoon show “The Jump.” The network released a statement saying this was the “best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA finals.”
  • Taylor has been in the midst of contract negotiations. She had turned down an offer for $5 million, hoping to receive more following ESPN’s acquisition by Disney. However, due to the pandemic and Nichols’ comments, her contract still hangs in the balance.
  • The situation disheartened NBA Commissioner Adam Silver as it pitted two women in the industry against one another. He responded, critiquing ESPN, “I would have thought that in the past year, maybe through some incredibly difficult conversations, that ESPN would have found a way to be able to work through it.” Nichols has privately reached out to Taylor to apologize and publicly apologized to “The Jump.”
  • “The first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story, and I don’t plan to break that rule today or distract from a fantastic Finals,” Nichols stated Monday, “But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, 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.”

In an industry lacking female commentary, Nichols’ comments, though from a year ago, do not go unnoticed despite the lack of repercussions from ESPN.

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Entertainment

Former NFL Champ Nate Burleson joins CBS Mornings

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Former NFL player Nate Burleson has officially made his hosting debut on the newly branded morning talk show, CBS Mornings.

What We Know:

  • It was announced earlier this month that Burleson would replace Anthony Mason. Previously Mason joined Gayle King and Tony Doukoupil as host of the former CBS This Morning.  The show was rebranded in tandem to the relocation of their set to Times Square and Burleson joining the cast.
  • Since 2017, former NFL player Burleson has been the host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network and has served as an analyst on The NFL Today on CBS. Burleson will continue his role on The NFL Today.

  • Burleson is the second former NFL player to join a network morning TV show, with Michael Strahan playing a major role as a co-host on ABC‘s Good Morning America.

Burleson credits Michael Strahan as the ‘blueprint’ for his career path, explaining, “He’s one of those individuals that I took a liking to once I retired because he rewrote the blueprint. I don’t want to say that he is the blueprint, because there has been plenty of players that have transitioned out of the game into TV. There have been African American men and women before him that have done the same thing, but he is a guy that has shown me the lay of the land, especially being a transplant from the West Coast to now New York.”

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Polo G Reportedly Arrested in Los Angeles on Concealed Weapon Charge

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Polo G was arrested on in Los Angeles on Monday, TMZ reports.

What We Know:

According to the outlet, Polo G was arrested after police allegedly found a concealed firearm on the Hall of Fame rapper, which TMZ points out is a felony. The supposed discovery of the firearm occurred when a vehicle Polo G was a passenger in was stopped.

It’s currently unclear why the vehicle was pulled over in the first place but it was reported that a male juvenile was also detained during the stop.

Polo was similarly arrested while he was in Miami for his Hall of Fame album release party. The arrest, which took place back in June, resulted in the rapper getting hit with charges of of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence, and criminal mischief. The rapper was also a passenger in a vehicle at the time of that arrest.

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Cardi B and Offset Welcome Their 2nd Child Together, His 5th

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Cardi B welcomed her and Offset’s second child together on Saturday, September 4.

What We Know:

“9/4/21,” Cardi, 28, captioned a Monday, September 5, Instagram upload, alongside a blue heart emoji.

 

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A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib)

The couple announced the Grammy winner’s pregnancy in June at the BET Awards. The “WAP” rapper showed her baby bump in a sheer jumpsuit during a joint performance.

The couple welcome Kulture, 3, July 2018. Offset, 29, previously welcomed Jordan, 11, Kody, 6, and Kalea, 6, in previous relationships.

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