ESPN's Maria Taylor claps back at questions over All-NBA vote after misogynistic remarks

Cassandra Negley
·Writer

An innocent tweet analyzing the All-NBA team vote selections turned into an avalanche of misogyny and ESPN’s Maria Taylor once again having to defend herself by firing back at it.

Taylor was one of the many media members who submitted ballots for NBA awards this year. Her ballot was highlighted by a Los Angeles Lakers writer for leaving Anthony Davis off of the all-NBA team. That note spun into sexist comments, rather than mere disagreement, and questions on why she has a vote in the first place.

Lakers writer apologizes after inadvertently riling up sexists

Harrison Faigen looked at the ballot as a Lakers writer and noted who voted for LeBron James and Anthony Davis and where they were placed. He tweeted, “Maria Taylor of ESPN was the sole voter who did not put Anthony Davis on their first, second or third All-NBA team.”

The tweet has since been deleted and he explained why seeing as it’s a fairly innocent tweet.

(Warning: language)

He was calling out someone with 49 followers saying “put her in the kitchen,” adding that it was far from the only sexist comment he had in his mentions after the tweet. Faigen’s entire thread:

“Honestly I would like to apologize to Maria Taylor. This was a story a lot of people were asking me about and so I wanted to give them the answer, but I was naive to think people could receive the news without being so blatantly misogynistic about it.

“That’s on me for not thinking enough before tweeting. Even though stuff can effect [sic] contracts and does matter, the reaction she’s getting is total bulls--- and I should have predicted this because of how sexist the internet can be. I am truly sorry.

“I deleted the tweet at the top of the thread, not to run from the criticism I deserve over it, but so it stops getting shared and doesn’t direct any more unjustified attacks towards Maria. Thank you to everyone who weighed in with perspective on this, both publicly and privately.”

A Reddit thread also showed some inappropriate and misogynistic comments. They appeared to be deleted after men called them out for making it about gender rather than the ballot itself.

Taylor claps back at Gottlieb over NBA vote

Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb couldn’t help but get involved and asked why Taylor had a vote in the first place.

Taylor came back with her credentials.

She played volleyball and basketball while at Georgia from 2005 to 2009.

Taylor has had a week. The seasoned reporter covered her first “Monday Night Football” game and was met with criticism of her outfit by radio host Dan McNeil on Twitter. She went high and clapped back with a reminder that he should tune in to the NBA Countdown doubleheader she hosted the following day. McNeil was fired less than 24 hours later.

Gottlieb’s ‘only analysts’ tweet at Maria Taylor

ESPN's Maria Taylor got dragged for her All-NBA ballot, but the retorts were mostly about her gender. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
ESPN's Maria Taylor got dragged for her All-NBA ballot, but the retorts were mostly about her gender. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Gottlieb tried to back track a little and said he didn’t believe she should have a vote because she is a studio host who doesn’t give opinions. He also tried to bring the beloved Doris Burke into it — possibly to assert he wasn’t sexist — by saying Burke deserves her vote because she holds an analyst title.

Without calling anyone else out by name — see above for how that backfires — there are a handful of voting media members on the list who are not strictly “current analysts.” Many of them write for newspapers or digital outlets where their primary job is to strictly report. Some of them write opinion pieces or columns, but it may be rare.

As with any sports, voting members are those who are watching games day in and day out. You don’t have to have an analyst job to analyze. And you certainly don’t need to have a media badge, seeing as everyone attacking Taylor are analyzing her ballot to do it.

Taylor took to Twitter saying she made a “CLEAR mistake” in not putting Davis on the team.

But she’s far from the only one with a “questionable” ballot. Look at almost any ballot on the list, and someone would argue something about it. And that’s fine. But don’t drag the gender of a person into the argument and make lame, overused, unfunny “jokes.”

Athletes, media back Maria Taylor

Plenty of others in the sports world rushed to Taylor’s defense on Saturday, too — including both media members and NBA players themselves.

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