Sports reporter Maria Taylor is leaving ESPN after she and the network failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension, it was announced Wednesday.
“So thankful to Jimmy [Pitaro] and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, 'College GameDay', Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the 'NBA Countdown' family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up," Taylor said in a statement. "Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”
The departure comes weeks after Taylor's colleague, ESPN broadcaster Rachel Nichols, suggested that she was picked to host last year's Finals because the network was under pressure to address its "crappy longtime record on diversity." Taylor is Black.