An unnamed ESPN employee leaked secret footage of ESPN’s own Rachel Nichols in her hotel room in Orlando. The person reportedly used footage from The Jump‘s live feed that was running without Nichols’ knowledge. Not a whole lot of information has been released, but it appears to be an attempted shot at Nichols’ credibility. ESPN reported that the company is “extremely disappointed” that one of their own would do something so egregious.
ESPN rebukes leaked video of private conversation involving NBA show host Rachel Nichols. https://t.co/UfApLmmMwz
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) July 16, 2020
Several details on this matter are still pending investigation. Regardless, there is still quite a bit to unpack. First of all, if I were an ESPN executive I would not be “extremely disappointed”. I would be infuriated. Not that it would be excusable to do this to a member of another company, but a seemingly intentional act of friendly fire is absolutely unprecedented. ESPN deemed the act “indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” in a recent statement.
“We are extremely disappointed about the leak of a private conversation. It’s indefensible and an intrusion on Rachel’s privacy,” ESPN said in a statement. “As for the substance of the conversation, it is not reflective of our decision-making on staffing assignments for the NBA, which has largely been driven by the circumstances of the pandemic.”
Not only is this an invasion of privacy, but it is also likely a federal crime. You may be familiar with a similar incident that took place back in 2009 involving reporter Erin Andrews. Andrews was recorded from the peephole of her hotel door by a man who was later identified as Michael David Barrett. Barrett was eventually sentenced to multiple years in prison for stalking.
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols was not visible in the leaked footage, but it was identified as a voice match. Whoever recorded the footage later leaked it to Deadspin. Why would an ESPN employee recorded secret footage of a colleague and then give it to another source? That part of the story hasn’t been talked about very much, but it seems pretty fishy to me. It’s an intriguing side story, but a less important issue. Whoever did this needs to be fired and persecuted. Immediately.