Rachel Nichols, ex-ESPN talents blast Norby Williamson after ouster: ‘Prayed for this’

Norby Williamson seemingly had bad blood with some ex-ESPN employees.

The Post’s Ryan Glasspiegel reported Friday that the former ESPN executive is no longer with the network after nearly four decades.

Soon after The Post’s report was published, a plethora of influential former employees of the network ripped Williamson.

“When good things happen to bad people…,” Rachel Nichols, who has her own show on Showtime and Paramount+, wrote on X.

Norby Williamson is out at ESPN, The Post reported on Friday. Getty Images

Ryen Russillo, who now works for The Ringer, also chimed in, though he also appeared to be criticizing others who were lambasting Williamson.

“Norby didn’t like any of us,” Russillo posted on X. “It doesn’t make you special.”

Then there was Mike Ryan Ruiz, who is now with Meadowlark Media and “The Dan Le Batard Show.”

He posted an image of wrestler Drew McIntyre on X with his famous quote: “I prayed for this and it happened.”

Pat McAfee notably called out Williamson twice on-air on his show in January, including calling him a “rat” and accusing him of trying to “sabotage” his show by leaking fake ratings numbers.

McAfee didn’t appear to react to the news on social media on Friday.

Rachel Nichols blasted Norby Williamson after The Post’s report the latter is out at ESPN. Getty Images

Williamson did have some supporters, however.

Jason Whitlock, now with Blaze Media, wrote: “Sad day. Norby fought the good fight,” on X.

Keith Olbermann, who now hosts an independent podcast after having multiple stints at ESPN, referenced Friday’s rare earthquake in the tri-state area to show his appreciation for Williamson.

“ESPN and Norby Williamson – who has made the place run for 40 years – part ways and 45 minutes later there’s an earthquake felt throughout the northeast,” Olbermann wrote on X.

Ryen Russillo is now with The Ringer. Screengrab

The Post reported that Burke Magnus was promoted above Williamson to become president of ESPN content and that the two did not see eye-to-eye about their long-term vision.

That led to Magnus deciding to part ways with Williamson.

“Almost 40 years ago in 1985, I was so very fortunate to be offered an opportunity at ESPN,” Williamson said in a memo to ESPN staff obtained by The Post.

Mike Ryan Ruiz is with Meadowlark Media and the Dan Le Batard Show. Screengrab

“Due to the exceptional hard work, creativity and commitment of the people at ESPN, and to a much lesser extent my contributions, I’d like to think we’ve left our great company in a far better place than we found it.”

A search to replace Williamson will begin immediately, Magnus said in the memo.

— Additional reporting from Ryan Glasspiegel


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