ESPN’S Maria Taylor is being offered $3million to stay with the sports broadcaster after row over diversity could see her leave.
The 34-year-old sports presenter was reportedly offered a $2million raise on top of her yearly salary of $1million.
She is also being scouted by NBC and Amazon, according to the New York Post.
The offer comes after co-host Rachel Nichols was dropped from covering the NBA finals after being caught on a hot mic making disparaging comments about her black colleague.
In the footage, first released by the New York Times, Nichols is heard suggesting that Taylor was only picked to host the NBA finals coverage because ESPN was “feeling pressure” about diversity.
She did not realize the call was being recorded and the video was later uploaded to a server at the company’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Nichols said: “I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball.
“If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your cr***y 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.”
Nichols was seeking advice from Adam Mendelsohn – a long-term advisor to LeBron James – as she believed her bosses were advancing Taylor at her expense.
Taylor did not refer to the controversy but tweeted Wednesday: “During the dark times, I always remember that I am in a position to open doors and light the path that others walk down.
“I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always keep rising.”
She concluded the post by adding a love heart emoji and including four pictures of her on presenting duties.
Taylor presented the show NBA Countdown before Game 1 of the basketball finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Nichols has been replaced on the sidelines by Malika Andrews.
Taylor’s current contract expires in less than two weeks, which coincides with a potential Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
It is not clear right now how ESPN would cover the Suns-Bucks series extending without Taylor.
Nichols initially joined ESPN in 2004 and was a regular on the network’s flagship show “SportsCenter” as well as the NFL and NBA shows.
She left ESPN for CNN in 2013, later working for TNT’S NBA broadcasts before rejoining ESPN in 2016.
Taylor, meanwhile, had primarily been seen on ESPN’s coverage of college football since joining the company in 2013. She started hosting “NBA Countdown” in 2019.
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