Malika Andrews’ Illness Caused Rift with Her Parents and Confused Them
Trigger Warning: Eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia. Reach out to the National Eating Disorder Foundation (1-800-931-2237) if you or anyone you know suffers from these disorders.
At a young age, Malika Andrews has achieved a lot in her life. She is an American reporter and sports journalist who currently hosts NBA Today.
She is the only black female National Basketball Association (NBA) reporter at ESPN. She was also ESPN’s youngest sideline journalist when she reported for an NBA conference final telecast.
In 2021, she received two significant feats - Emmy nominations for the Emerging On-Air Talent category and being listed under Forbes 30 Under 30 in the sports industry.
Andrews is 26 at the moment, with many outstanding achievements under her belt. But life was not always easy for her, since she had to fight some demons of her own.
Malika Andrews’s Battle with Eating Disorder
As a high-schooler, Andrews described herself to be angry, anxious, and depressed. This time of her life was a quintessential exhibition of how things tend not to be the way they seem.
With all of this turmoil inside her, she did not let it surface. But, unfortunately, doing so turned her into a furnace that blew up when things got a bit too heated. And when it did, it manifested itself by her having constant bouts with her parents.
She was just 14 and had no regard for her parents and sister, Kendra. She had stopped studying at this point and had flunked out of her middle school. These mental struggles then led to physical struggles as she developed an eating disorder.
She found herself torn between anorexia and bulimia. She would go long stretches without eating and find herself on eating binges when she crashed.
Eventually and triumphantly, she found strength by admitting to her vulnerabilities. She finally confessed to her mother, Caren, about how she needed help. This began her mending the bridges she was hellbent on burning.
Andrews was then sent to a therapeutic boarding school in Utah. Her parents, for obvious reasons, were sad to let her go, but this change got her back on track after only a year. She even graduated three years later.
Malika Andrews’s Career
Andrews has fought and defeated her demons and is on the path to becoming one of the most successful journalists in the sports industry. Before coming to ESPN, she worked with The Denver Post, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune.
She got the boost she needed after ESPN replaced Rachel Nichols with Andrews in July 2021. Nichols was removed from being the sideline reporter at the finale after her comments about Maria Taylor were exposed in a New York Times report.
In the statement, Nichols told Adam Mendelsohn, LeBron James’s adviser, that ESPN chose Taylor to host the NBA finals because the latter was Black. Nichols alleged ESPN for feeling pressurized about diversity hence, they allowed Taylor to host instead of her.
These comments by Nichols understandably upset her colleagues and the network, which validated her dismissal. She later apologized for her actions on air. But then, her contract with ESPN came to a screeching halt during the NBA finals, giving Andrews the spot.
In an interview with GQ, Andrews addressed this situation. She agreed that how she got the job as a sideline reporter was unfortunate. But regardless, being hired on such short notice was a “thrilling, on-court experience” for her.