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Former NBA player Stephen Jackson took to social media Sunday to defend Rachel Nichols, who was caught on recordings suggesting ESPN chose NBA Countdown host Maria Taylor, a black woman, to cover the NBA Finals in 2020 over her because of the network’s push for diversity.
Jackson said in the first video of a series posted to his Instagram that ESPN tried to make themselves look good by making the last-minute changes to the 2020 NBA Finals coverage. He said ESPN put both women in a bad position by taking a job that they gave Nichols, that she had and earned, and giving it to Taylor as a sympathy job.
“[ESPN] was trying to make themselves look good … it wasn’t a genuine job they wanted to give Maria … ESPN y’all some suckers,” he said.
“But Adam u can’t come back from your statements. U clearly tired of Black Lives Mattering not the organization which I don’t support,” he wrote in the caption. “So your job shouldn’t matter to [Lebron James] I hope they move on from u clown. I meant that. We tired of u bruh. Be gone. Love to [Rachel Nichols] and [Maria Taylor] [middle finger emoji] espn this was all a set up.”
“Don’t give [me a] sympathy job and don’t take nothing I worked for and deserve for your personal gain,” he wrote in the caption. “Harsh Truth. Everybody won’t be bold enough to admit it but I will. We all been slighted and said things we just wasn’t being recorded. I’m too real. Also real with myself. “[ESPN] y’all behind all this nonsense. More Clarity. [ESPN] don’t care about anyone only their brand.”
“Me Tracy Perk Chauncey RJ Matt and so on. [ESPN] didn’t do that. [Rachel Nichols] did know y’all facts,” Jackson captioned the video. “Be real with yaself F @espn they behind all this BS. U can hate me for speaking the truth. Truth sound like hate to people who hate the truth…”
“Truth Sound Like Hate To People Who Hate The Truth. If u don’t like it unfollow. Nothing stops here. Get off ya ass and go get what’s yours,” he wrote. “Stop making excuses. I grew up in a house where the man who my mom was married to did drugs in front of us and stole my mother hard earned checks. She got us out that environment. I wanted more for my mother and my siblings. With Allah on my side I worked and fought to change our conditions. Didn’t make no excuses. We all have a wave to catch. Go catch yours. Depend on u not nobody else.”
Individuals took to social media to share their thoughts on Jackson’s video, with some saying: “STEPHEN uneducated JACKSON really posted this, really tried to compare the black & white experience … This is bad.”