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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Michelle Beadle on Floyd Mayweather credential ban: They’re lying

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Michelle Beadle and Rachel Nichols made headlines Saturday for saying they had been denied credentials for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight, something Mayweather’s promoters have denied.

“There are emails,” Beadle said to Sports Illustrated. “They lie. It’s their job. But I was banned.”

Nichols later said on Twitter that while she received media access to cover events leading up to the fight, she was denied credentials to attend the actual fight.

Have had a bunch of folks asking questions about the Mayweather issue. Here’s what happened: 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.

This was a known issue entering the fight. The fight is a blockbuster one that is attracting attention and media coverage around the world. Not everyone who received credentials to cover the build-up to the fight was approved to attend the actual fight, and a lot of that is due to spatial limitations.

However, it is impossible to think that the denial to Beadle and Nichols is not related to their respective coverage of Mayweather as a serial woman beater.

ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap explains what happened. Top Rank refers to Bob Arum’s company, which promotes Pacquiao.

The real question is whether the two were denied credentials because they are lower-priority reporters than some other ones, or because of a conscious effort by Mayweather’s team to keep them out because of their history of negative coverage of Floyd. Most people believe the latter is the case, especially considering that they are two of the most prominent female sports reporters/personalities in the country.

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