Maria Taylor Suggests ESPN Drama Qualifies As 'Dark Times'

ESPN's Maria Taylor has been mostly silent on the drama involving coworker Rachel Nichols. But finally, Taylor has seemingly broken that silence.

"During the dark times I always remember that I am in this position to open doors and light the path that others walk down," Taylor tweeted. "I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always. KEEP RISING."

Taylor was the subject of what Nichols assumed was a private conversation, which took place about a year ago -- and just came to light earlier this week. Nichols has been accused of demeaning Taylor as she demanded that she keep her own job.

Her private conversation was then circulated by an ESPN employee and wound up in the hands of the New York Times -- just in time for contract talks between Taylor and ESPN. That's probably all related.

“Maria Taylor’s contract is up in a couple of weeks,” OutKick's Clay Travis said recently. “If you want to know how a story like this actually ends up occurring, it is because Maria Taylor decided to have her people leak this story. She’s the only one who benefits, she’s the only one not quoted directly in the story. She is trying to extort ESPN into paying her a massive salary increase, which she does not otherwise deserve.”

ESPN eventually removed Nichols from her job as a sideline reporter for the NBA Finals, an obvious effort at way-after-the-fact damage control.

“We believe this is the best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals,” ESPN said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Taylor continues to serve as host of "NBA Countdown," the ABC/ESPN pre- and postgame show. Her tweet was the first time she hinted at the Nichols controversy.