Stephen Jackson Defends Rachel Nichols

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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.”

Photo shared to Jackson’s Instagram.

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.”

To read more of OutKick’s coverage on this topic, click here.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. You guys here should highlight the relationships between ESPN and PR firms. Id love to know what Adam and Lebron pay ESPN for coverage. That’s the real issue in my opinion. Why does Rachel Nichols, a self proclaimer journalist, speak openly about her career with someone who is essentially a client?

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