Monday, Sept. 14, was an eventful night for sports reporter Maria Taylor, because not only did she make her debut as an NFL sideline reporter, she responded to a Chicago radio host who criticized her outfit.
The disparaging remarks came from Dan McNeil of Chicago’s 670 “The Score,” who compared Taylor’s outfit to something worn at an awards show for the adult film industry. Taylor was reporting from the New York Giants-Pittsburgh Steelers game at the time, and McNeil has since been fired for his words.
“NFL sideline reporter or host for the AVN annual awards presentation?” tweeted McNeil on Monday while posting a screenshot of Taylor.
She responded to him after the game ended and called his tweet misogynistic.
“Well Danny Dearest if you would like to continue making sexist comments about me…please bring your misogyny with you to the NBA Countdown double header I’ll be hosting tomorrow night. Hey ladies remember you can wear whatever you feel confident in! @670TheScore @DannyMac670.”
McNeil deleted his tweet about 30 minutes after sending it, but Entercom, the parent company of “The Score,” said his words were inexcusable.
“Dan McNeil is no longer an employee at ‘The Score,'” read a statement written by Entercom senior vice president and market manager Rachel Williamson, posted on Tuesday, Sept. 15. “For each one of us our words have power. For our brands and on-air personalities that is amplified and brings increased responsibility in how we chose to use our voices.”
“Last night’s tweet and its degrading and humiliating tone to a fellow female broadcast is unacceptable,” she added. “We apologize to all who were offended by Dan’s words, especially Maria.”
Taylor began with ESPN in 2014, reporting for “College GameDay Built by Home Depot” and hosting “College Football Live.” She began hosting “NBA Countdown” in 2019, where she currently talks hoops with Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, and Jay Williams.
On Tuesday, during “NBA Countdown,” Taylor was given a bouquet of flowers by her co-hosts for starting Monday Night Football and for how she dealt with McNeil.
“You are so incredible at what you do and I love the way you clap back at people that come to you with ignorance. So thank you for continuing to be that example that we need,” said Williams.
“Thank you for being a terrific role model,” Rose followed. “In this industry, it’s really tough to do what you do on a daily basis, juggle the attitudes and the egos in a male-dominated industry but you’ll still be a shining star.”
Taylor posted a photo of herself with the flowers on Tuesday and thanked her co-hosts while implying that McNeil’s words didn’t get to her.
“The people who fuel me. Are the people who support me. The only people who can effect me are the people who love me. I’m SO thankful for my NBA Countdown family. Once again you’ve lifted me up over a hurdle. And made me feel like a Queen. Let’s go crush the Finals.”