Former ESPN sports commentator Rachel Nichols said on Showtime All the smoke podcast this week that the leaked audio leading to her exit from the Sports Network was obtained by someone who “spied” on her in her hotel room.
nichols joined Showtime Basketball as a sportscaster and host, her first NBA-focused gig since leaving ESPN for NBC Sports.
Talk with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson in the latest episode of the basketball podcast, Nichols spoke at length about his stint and his hostile departure from the network.
“I was told, well, you’re not a team player, which every businesswoman knows is code, right?” she said she was asked to step down to host the NBA Finals. “Women are supposed to be kumbaya. and team players. and useful; men are aggressive sharks and all that.
On the leaked audio of Nichols talking about his colleague at the time Maria TaylorNichols said someone was able to record her because she was unfamiliar with the equipment provided for remote streaming during covid restrictions, resulting in a live ‘line’ from her bedroom ,
“I didn’t realize that if you left a particular app running in the background, the line from my hotel room looking at my hotel room in Bristol would stay open,” she said.
Nichols described being in his room all day, doing things like unpacking and making phone calls, without anyone telling him.
“Unfortunately, throughout this time, no one at ESPN told me that there was an open line to my hotel room and anyone watching the stream could see me,” she said. “No one has turned it off, decided, Oh, she clearly doesn’t know she’s being watched, or unboxing, or doing all those other things.”
And it wasn’t just that it was open, but “at least” one person was actively attending.
“At least one person decided to sit down and watch and started spying on me like I was their own personal TV show,” she said, including recording her phone conversations. “When they heard something they thought was, you know, they took their cell phone and they started recording my conversation on their cell phone.”
Nichols reviewed some of what she said and tried to explain her intent to Barnes and Jackson, who had previously defended her. She also added that the person who recorded it sat on the tape for a year.
“I just kept it in their pocket,” she said, until they could use it as “leverage” in their own negotiations with the network.
The longer eight-minute clip was shared in a tweet that went viral on Saturday.
Watch the clips above courtesy of Showtime, via Ballislife on Twitter.
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