Adam Silver addresses Rachel Nichols-Maria Taylor controversy at ESPN

The NBA commissioner addressed the reports of tension between the two reporters at one of the league’s top partners.

Video Transcript

- I was wondering what your reaction is to the news about ESPN'S turmoil over the-- turmoil over the past year, given the relationship the NBA has with the network and the widespread reaction we've seen from current and former players to the comments from Rachel Nichols and Adam Mendelsohn.

ADAM SILVER: It's disheartening. You know, it's-- I'm really not in a position to speak too specifically about what goes on at ESPN because so much of my information came from your newspapers' reporting and others, so I'm not privy to much more beyond that. I will say, you know, apropos of my earlier comments, I think it's particularly unfortunate that two women in the industry are pitted against each other.

You know, it's-- I know that, you know, both Rachel and Maria are terrific at what they do. You know, they work extraordinarily hard, and I hope-- I think part of the problem is that, as I said earlier, when people can't get in a room and talk through these issues, this seemingly has fostered now for a full year. This is an incident that happened, I guess, when Rachel was in the bubble a year ago. And I would have thought that in the past year, you know, maybe through some incredibly difficult conversations, that ESPN would have found a way to be able to work through it. Obviously not.

And I think part of it and what we're seeing in ESPN, it's one thing to talk about the principles around diversity and inclusion and something else when it comes to somebody's specific job and how that's handled. And what I've learned from dealing with these issues in the NBA is that they are incredibly complex. It's not-- there's no magic bullets here, and they require a very labor-intensive effort of getting people in the room and working through these issues by talking a lot about them and then talking even more about them and creating a climate where people are comfortable, you know, saying what's on their mind, where people are given the benefit of the doubt, especially long-term employees that are in good standing, that when they do make comments, that people recognize that people make mistakes, that career shouldn't be erased by a single comment, that we should be judging people by the larger context, of their body of work and who they are and what we know about them.