Rachel Nichols, ESPN split finally becomes official, per report

Reporter and studio host Rachel Nichols has reached a settlement agreement with ESPN that will allow her to pursue employment elsewhere, according to a New York Post report.

Nichols' status with ESPN has been in limbo since she was taken off the air last August following a leaked phone conversation in which she expressed frustration with the network's decision to have colleague Maria Taylor, who is Black, serve as the primary studio anchor for its 2020 NBA Finals coverage.

"I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball," Nichols said in an audio excerpt published by the New York Times. "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. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away."

ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols walks on the court after Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in Milwaukee.
ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols walks on the court after Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in Milwaukee.

Nichols issued an on-air apology to Taylor, but was soon removed from hosting ESPN's daily NBA show, "The Jump."

Shortly after Nichols' comments became public, Taylor left ESPN for an on-air position with NBC Sports.

During this past season's NBA Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, Malika Andrews replaced Nichols as the sideline reporter for ESPN's coverage.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rachel Nichols officially out at ESPN following settlement