The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Sports institutions have forced us to question their respect for Black women

By Nefertiti A. Walker

23 Jul 2021 · 5 min read

The announcement that Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN, weeks after a White colleague reduced the talented analyst to a diversity hire, caps off a month of high-profile, troubling incidents involving Black women in the sports world.

Taylor’s treatment amplified the double discrimination that Black women experience in institutions throughout society: In leaked comments, Rachel Nichols, an established sports analyst, privately complained about losing a high-profile assignment to Taylor, alleging the network was trying to make up for its “crappy” diversity record by promoting a Black woman. Taylor and ESPN parted ways after the two sides could not reach an agreement on her contract.

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