MICHELLE Beadle has taken a swipe at Rachel Nichols after the ESPN reporter was caught on a bombshell hot mic making disparaging remarks about a black colleague.
The former NBA Countdown host took to social media to mock the drama after Nichols found herself in hot water when a video from 2020 leaked revealing her “racial” comments about co-worker Maria Taylor.
Controversy surrounding Nichols stems from remarks she made around a year ago about network host Maria TaylorCredit: ESPN2
Michelle Beadle appeared to mock Nichols on social mediaCredit: Twitter/Michelle Beadle
While Beadle didn’t directly address the situation, she did appear to poke fun at it by sharing a laughing scene from the movie Goodfellas on Twitter, where she boasts more than 1.4million followers.
Over the clip, she penned the message: “Did everybody have a good weekend?”.
Beadle’s seemingly catty taunt came after ESPN removed Nichols from the sidelines for the NBA Finals.
The network confirmed the decision on Tuesday, calling it the “best decision for all concerned in order to keep the focus on the NBA Finals.”
Nichols will be replaced on the sidelines by Malika Andrews but will continue to host The Jump, ESPN said.
ESPN canceled a scheduled episode of The Jump for Tuesday night. The show will return on Wednesday.
Michelle Beadle has waded in on the ESPN dramaCredit: Getty
The controversy surrounding Nichols stems from comments she made around a year ago about network host] Taylor during a private conversation that was inadvertently caught on camera.
In a recording of the conversation, first released by the New York Times, Nichols is heard suggesting that Taylor was only picked to host the NBA finals coverage because ESPN was “feeling pressure” about diversity.
Nichols did not realize that the video was being recorded. The video was later uploaded to a server at the company’s headquarters and then disseminated widely between ESPN employees.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said in the footage, captured in July 2020.
“If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it.
“Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
Nicholas suggested Taylor (above) was only appointed host because she’s blackCredit: Getty
The remarks came as she was seeking advice from Adam Mendelsohn, a long-time advisor to LeBron James, because she believed her bosses were advancing Taylor at her expense.
The call was held while Nichols was in a hotel room, inside the NBA “bubble”. A camera she appeared to forget to switch off recorded the call and broadcasted it back to ESPN’s headquarters.
In the recording, Mendelsohn says, in part, “I don’t know. I’m exhausted. Between Me Too and Black Lives Matter, I got nothing left.”
Nichols laughed at Mendelsohn’s remarks.
The veteran host publicly apologized for her behavior during a Monday night broadcast of The Jump.
She was also defended by her co-hosts, Kendrick Perkins and Richard Jefferson.
“The first thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t be the story, and I don’t plan to break that rule today,” the veteran broadcaster began.
“But I also don’t want to let this moment pass without saying how much I respect, how much I value our colleagues here at ESPN, how deeply, deeply sorry I am for disappointing those I hurt, particularly Maria Taylor, and how grateful I am to be part of this outstanding team.”
Perkins thanked Nichols for “accepting responsibility for your actions.”
Nichols initially joined ESPN in 2004 and was a regular on the network’s flagship show “SportsCenter” as well as the NFL and NBA shows.
She left ESPN for CNN in 2013, later working for TNT’S NBA broadcasts before rejoining ESPN in 2016.
Taylor, meanwhile, had primarily been seen on ESPN’s coverage of college football since joining the company in 2013. She started hosting “NBA Countdown” in 2019.
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