ESPN's Malika Andrews discusses Breonna Taylor ruling on SportsCenter - Sports Illustrated

ESPN’s Malika Andrews Shows Incredible Poise Discussing Breonna Taylor Ruling on ‘SportsCenter’

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: Malika Andrews’s emotional “SportsCenter” hit with Scott Van Pelt, Tyler Herro’s explosive performance and more.
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She’s so good at this

ESPN's Malika Andrews has been one of the breakout stars of the NBA bubble. Andrews, 25, has written about the NBA for ESPN.com since 2018 and was selected to be one of the network’s few reporters inside the Orlando campus. When she made her sideline reporting debut for ESPN’s broadcast of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, she was believed to be the youngest person to ever land the sideline gig

Andrews, a former newspaper reporter, had extremely little on-camera experience before being sent to the bubble but ESPN clearly believes she has the talent to succeed in that spot, and she showed why on Wednesday night. 

The news that the Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor five times would not be held accountable for her death reverberated across the U.S. on Wednesday, including inside the NBA campus

During her hit on Scott Van Pelt’s late-night SportsCenter, Andrews was asked about the players’ reaction to the news. What followed was a remarkable few minutes of television, as an emotional Andrews seamlessly wove together her reporting of the news with her personal feelings as a Black woman around Taylor’s age.

“I have prided myself in being able to objective and cover these sorts of issues,” Andrews said. “But when it is so clear that the system of objectivity in journalism is so white-washed and doesn’t account for the fact that when I am walking up the hill my wonderful producer Melinda reminds me that Breonna Taylor was 26 and I am 25 and that could have been me, it is very hard to continue to go to work. And that’s what these players were feeling.”

It takes immense bravery to be so open and vulnerable on national television. It also takes incredible talent to be able to regain your composure so quickly on live TV. The fact that Andrews was willing and able to do both—and do it so well, despite not having extensive live television experience—is astounding. And she’s only 25! You’ll be seeing her on your screen for a long time to come. 

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Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.