FORMER Celtics star and ESPN host Paul Pierce has faced backlash on social media after he was seen drinking and smoking while strippers danced in the background in a live Instagram video.
Pierce, 43, streamed the shocking video to his own account in the early hours of Saturday morning, into which ESPN’s Rachel Nichols was inexplicably dragged.
Why is Rachel Nichols trending?
In Pierce’s video, he takes shots while filming another woman in a bikini twerking on the ground behind him.
He and his friends appeared to be playing poker as they threw chips at the woman dancing.
Viewers commented on the stream reminding the ex-NBA player that he is married and has children but he appeared to remain unfazed.
"What does his wife think?" one asked.
Pierce began to trend on Twitter by Saturday afternoon as the video spread.
ESPN's Rachel Nichols was also dragged into the talk on Twitter despite having nothing to do on the video.
The mention of Nichols in the video led to a stream of misogynistic tweets about The Jump host.
Her name also began to trend on the social media platform after a viewer commented “Where Rachel Nichols at?”
ESPN has not yet commented on the video as social media users claim that he could be disciplined for the raunchy footage.
What did Paul Pierce say?
While Pierce has not yet addressed his Saturday videos, he has published a series of tweets in the days following – the latest two seemingly related to ESPN axing him as a host.
On the Sunday morning following his viral Instagram Live, Pierce tweeted, simply saying ‘Good morning’.
The tweet was torn apart by his followers, who proceeded to post screenshots from the video, and comment on how he was likely feeling after the night before.
“let's talk about last night tho,” one Twitter user commented.
Since then, he had posted a basket-ball related tweet reading ‘What a shot!!!! Omg Gonzaga”, followed by two tweets about feeling an earthquake.
On Monday night he had posted a selfie video of himself laughing, paired with the caption: “Big Things coming soon stay tuned make sure u smile #Truthshallsetufree”.
The tweet was published around the time ESPN reportedly decided to part ways with the former sport star as a host.
While there was currently no official statement from ESPN or confirmation that the two sides have parted ways, multiple sources had reported this was the case.
Pierce’s own videos seemed to confirm the news.
And later that night Pierce posted a tweet, reading “I can’t lose even when I lose I’m winning”.
The caption included several emojis, with two thinking faces, a red-cheeked embarrassed face, and two smiley faces.
Why was Paul Pierce fired from ESPN?
former NBA star was fired from his position as a top contributor on the shows NBA Countdown and The Jump after he posted a video himself smoking what appeared to be marijuana and dancing next to strippers.
ESPN sources told the New York Post the network was particularly alarmed he himself posted the videos.
Should he have been filmed without his knowledge, he might still have a job, the insiders said.
The married, father-of-three faced criticism over the raunchy footage posted in the early hours of Saturday morning in which he received a neck massage from a bikini-clad woman.
Another woman twerked on the floor in the background as the 43-year-old ex-Boston Celtics player downed shots and smoked.
He and his friends appeared to be playing poker as they threw chips at the women dancing.
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