Celebrated journalist Jason Whitlock premieres his BlazeTV show "Fearless" with not one but six of his patented "fire-starter" monologues. Is ESPN's Maria Taylor too fragile to handle the big stage? Are black liberals too concerned with the approval of white people? Jason reads his letter to black America, and you have to hear Uncle Jimmy's response. Plus, Jason explains why erecting statues of George Floyd actually harms America.
Whitlock addressed the upheaval at ESPN following a New York Times report detailing comments sideline reporter Rachel Nichols, who is white, made about colleague Maria Taylor, who is black, last year. In a private conversation, accidentally recorded and leaked by the Times over the weekend, Nichols complained that Taylor had gotten a coveted assignment because ESPN executives were under pressure to improve their "crappy longtime record on diversity."
"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 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," Nichols can be heard saying in the recording.
ESPN announced Monday that Malika Andrews will replace Nichols as the sideline reporter during the NBA Finals.
Whitlock shared a personal story in which a "bigoted co-worker" stood up during a staff meeting to call him an "unqualified stain" on the company, explaining that the experience left him feeling "determined to continue to shine." He argued that Nichols' criticisms of Taylor were private and "polite" by comparison.
"In a private conversation, Nichols politely told a friend that Taylor's race played a role in Taylor getting the ESPN NBA Countdown hosting job over Nichols. Nichols did not disparage Taylor's talent or work ethic. Nichols did not state her opinion publicly. Nichols did nothing to offend Taylor. Nothing," Whitlock pointed out. "Nichols' private conversation was accidentally recorded and a year later intentionally leaked to the New York Times.
"Taylor has refused to speak with Nichols and has refused to appear on camera with Nichols for the past year because Nichols had the audacity to think ESPN plays the racial diversity game. I wonder where she got that thought," he added.
"This is what television networks and personalities do. They gin up and/or exploit racial dysfunction for ratings, relevance, and, in Taylor's case, contract leverage. I can't imagine pretending to be as fragile as Taylor," Whitlock went on to say. "I can't imagine being so obsessed with the opinions of my white co-workers that their private thoughts could hurt me to the point that I'd expect the company's human resources department to address it. This is embarrassing for black people."
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