Twitter users gave Malika Andrews high-fives for her coverage of the NBA Finals Tuesday (July 20) as a sideline reporter.
For some, it was especially satisfying to see Andrews’ amazing job after ESPN removed veteran reporter Rachel Nichols from covering the basketball champions.
The sports network replaced Nichols because she was recorded making disparaging comments about the work of her Black colleague Maria Taylor.
Here’s a clip from Andrews’ interview with Giannis Antetokounmpo of the world champions Milwaukee Bucks.
ESPN broadcaster Stan Verrett said Andrews is “a star.” She asked the right question to the ballplayers in the chaos of the post game celebration.
ESPN colleague Adam Schefter said it was “very impressive” to watch Andrews interview the players.
The New York Times obtained clips that showed Nichols talking to LeBron James’ advisor Adam Mendelsohn while she was in the NBA bubble last July. She was reportedly unaware that the video camera was recording while she was speaking on the phone.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in one clip. “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.”
She added: “I just want them to go somewhere else — it’s in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing.”
Here are more Twitter reactions.