Rachel Nichols of ESPN is in the news for all of the wrong reasons right now as a video of her disparaging fellow host Maria Taylor made its way to the internet. In the clip, Nichols speaks about Taylor and how she feels like ESPN only hired her for certain shows because they needed to add diversity to the network. These comments angered many fans as they felt like Nichols was making racially charged comments that show she isn’t a real ally.

In the aftermath of this, former NBA player Stephen Jackson took to Instagram where he defended Nichols against the attacks. In fact, Jackson believes Taylor was given a “sympathy job” and that everyone needs to leave Rachel alone. 

“We all ramble and we say things when we’re frustrated, and Rachel did deserve that job, it’s just plain and simple, I’ve talked to Rachel and I know a lot of things she was saying out of frustrations because ESPN put her in a bad position and they even put Maria in a bad position by trying to give Maria a sympathy job, they were trying to make themselves look good because of the Black lives Matt and the George Floyd stuff was going on,” Jackson said.

These comments from Jackson were met with vitriol on social media as some felt like he shouldn’t be rushing to the defense of a white woman, especially considering the fact that he is an activist. In typical Twitter fashion, the criticism of Jackson ended up snowballing into memes, and for now, Jackson isn’t in good standing with the rest of NBA Twitter.

You can see what people had to say about the ordeal, below.