The context and details of today's story, which is one of the most important stories in sports media over the past year, will be provided by what you are about to read. This will help you understand many of the factors that made this story go viral. You may think you understand what's happening, but I can assure you that you don’t.
The New York Times published a shocking story on July 4, 2021. It detailed Rachel Nichols' complaints regarding Maria Taylor and "diversity" and how Adam Mendelsohn, LeBron James' long-time advisor, laughed about being "exhausted" by the #MeToo Movement.
For a moment, think about this. A white woman who is privileged in her job covers a Black league laughed at a black man who was exhausted from interacting with powerful Black men every day. Black women are tired of being sexually harassed, assaulted, and made to feel like they are being used as a target for the police. Mendelsohn believes he is the "exhausted" one. Nichols believes there is something to be funny about this. It's always amazing to see the sheer courage that white people can display behind closed doors.
Now, let's get back to the main point.
This story has been the most important in sports media over the past 24 hours. It's still trending on Twitter. There is so much to be said. There is some really great conversation. Black people and other people of color are revealing the truth about ESPN and how it feels to work for this corporate giant. There's also misinformation and lazy assertions. And there are tons of people tweeting that don't know what's really going on.
But I do.
Grab a seat and a beverage, because I'm going to tell you about the story.
At 7:36 PM CST on July 14, 2020, I received an anonymous text message from an unknown number with a code 202 from someone who was unwilling to be identified. Four grainy video clips were the first of four texts. These were four video clips of a computer screen, in which only a chair was visible in a hotel room. The audio was of a woman making a call. The woman in question was Rachel Nichols and was speaking to Adam Mendelsohn.