ESPN's Maria Taylor receives support from colleagues after sharing hate message directed at family


ESPN’s Maria Taylor opened up on Monday about hate speech her family received in response to her criticism of Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Jake Fromm.

Fromm apologized in June after a private text message surfaced online showing Fromm writing that only “elite white people” should have access to guns. Fromm and Taylor were both student-athletes at Georgia, where Taylor played volleyball.

Taylor responded to Fromm’s text on ESPN’s “First Take” in June.

ESPN's Maria Taylor works from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Miami and Florida Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Maria Taylor wrote that a viewer directed hate speech toward her family after her criticism of Jake Fromm. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Taylor: It hurts to your core

“As a Black person in America, you go throughout the day assuming that people are not racist or that they do not have prejudice in their body, because if we don’t we would be mad all the time,” Taylor said.

“And then every time it’s revealed and it’s someone that you love or enjoyed covering, it hurts to your core. It’s a death by a thousand razor cuts. That’s how I feel when I heard about Jake Fromm.”

Taylor: Family received hate message

With the return of college football, Taylor has been on ESPN airwaves covering the sport. A TV appearance apparently prompted a viewer to write a lengthy hate-filled message about Taylor that Taylor says was texted to her father, mother and brother.

Taylor shared the message that sympathizes with Fromm’s viewpoint on guns and race. She vowed to not let the hate speech scare her from doing her job.

(Warning: The text below contains hate speech and offensive language)

After Taylor posted the message, she received social media support from ESPN colleagues Elle Duncan and Shelley Smith.


Taylor’s previous response to sexist remarks

This is not the first time Taylor has responded publicly to racist or sexist commentary directed her way. In September, she called out former Chicago sports radio host Dan McNeil for tweeting that her sideline attire on “Monday Night Football” was better suited for an adult film awards show.

McNeil’s tweet cost him his job.

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