Rachel Nichols, Michelle Beadle Say Floyd Mayweather's Team Blocked Their Fight Credentials
In fall 2014, Nichols questioned Mayweather about his history of abusing women.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will face off on Saturday evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in for a fight of the century, but CNN's Rachel Nichols and ESPN's Michelle Beadle say they won't be covering the matchup.
According to both journalists who posted to Twitter on Saturday morning, Mayweather's camp blocked the credentials of both women.
"I, along with @Rachel_Nichols, have been banned from the MGM Grand Arena for the fight tonight by the Mayweather camp. #TheFightGame," Beadle wrote.
"No fight for me or @MichelleDBeadle. Mayweather's team told my producer the camp was blocking my credential," Nichols posted.
In 2010, Mayweather served time for physically abusing the mother of his children. In the fall of 2014, Nichols questioned Mayweather in an interview about his history of abusing women, including his children's mother.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 2, 2015
Here's my interview with Floyd Mayweather from this past fall, the same week the Ray Rice video was leaked: https://t.co/yFiBhEQhFb— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 2, 2015
Kelly Swanson, a rep for Mayweather, took to Twitter to dispute the allegations that both reporters were not credentialed.
"No one including ME bannedfrom covering the fight. She is already credentialed.
After hearing my credential was pulled, I went home. Told this morning that HBO was able to get it re-approved late last night.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) May 2, 2015
That's it. All she wrote. I will now concentrate on Game 7. #GoSpursGo— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) May 2, 2015
My bad. I forgot to hashtag that one...#ActualFacts— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) May 2, 2015
Per source, Mayweather promotions blocked Beadle last night. Top Rank appealed to Moonves, who had decision reversed at about 1030 pm.— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) May 2, 2015
Also, source says Nichols was blocked, decision also reversed, but she now won't go.— Jeremy Schaap (@JeremySchaap) May 2, 2015
On Saturday afternoon, Nichols issued a statement, saying that she isn't surprised that Mayweather's team has changed its tune after news went public that she was blocked from attending the fight. She pointed out that she will not attend the fight, adding, "I will also not let fear of retaliation prevent me from asking the tough questions the public deserves answers to in the future."
Beadle continued the coversation on Sunday, tweeting that she had been a big WWE fan but would no longer follow the wrestling organization after wrestler Triple H posted his support for Mayweather.
Nichols' full statement can be seen below.
After asking tough questions of Floyd Mayweather on my program, I was not offered press credentials to cover tonight's fight. In an email dated April 23, I was told I would only be credentialed for the run-up events through the week, but in bold, italic letters the email stated "you do not have any access Saturday to any services or events." A CNN producer revisited the issue with the Mayweather camp on April 29, confirming to Mayweather's publicist that I would be in Las Vegas, and the publicist replied that I would still be denied a fight night credential. I was told the same thing when I arrived at the credential office in person on May 1, by two separate officials, in front of several other people. It doesn't surprise me that now, after facing significant backlash, the Mayweather camp has reversed its position. But despite this, and other outside parties generously offering me their seats, I will not attend the fight. I will also not let fear of retaliation prevent me from asking the tough questions the public deserves answers to in the future.
May 2, 2:36 p.m. Update with a response from Kelly Swanson, a rep for Mayweather.
May 2, 10:40 p.m. Updated with Nichols' statement.
May 3, 1:50 p.m. Updated with Beadle's WWE tweet.