According to Beadle, on Friday afternoon during HBO boxing commentator Jim Lampley came in and took her aside. “First off, they’re not letting your camera in, and there’s also something going on with your credential,” added Lampley.
“Hey, have you heard what’s going on with you and your camera? Beadle texted her agent and producer, and then went about her day.
It’s a dismal May morning in the City of Angels—closer to Heat’s icy-blue hellscape than the sun-soaked playground of Entourage—and the pall cast over the nation’s yoga and Botox capital has extended to the hallways of ESPN. I love Bill, there’s no secret about that, and wherever he ends up I hope it’s awesome.
Earlier that day, the news broke that the self-anointed “Worldwide Leader in Sports” had decided to part ways with its resident rabble-rouser, Bill Simmons, closing the door on a rocky 15-year relationship. to profile Simmons’s ESPN compadre, Michelle Beadle, who shakes her head despondently when I bring up the Simmons situation. Whenever things like this happen, I always think it’s down to money.
I’ve learned that you can’t really call other people out,” Beadle says of ESPN. Beadle had been covering the lead-up to the event for HBO Sports’ The Fight Game, and was out in Vegas covering the preamble on behalf of ESPN.
“But with that, I didn’t really call the person out, it was his words. The words were wrong, and somebody had to say something. On Friday, she was set to commence part two of her HBO series and was credentialed for the weigh-in, but you needed a separate credential for the fight on Saturday, May 2.
“Those Grantland kids love Bill, and they stand by Bill. It’s going to be like a Jerry Maguire situation, and they’re gonna go—because they’re loyal to him.” She pauses. You’re the most powerful league in the entire world and can have whatever you want.“But I think having someone like Bill is good for the network; you need someone who’s polarizing and not afraid to speak their mind.” When I greet the brassy blonde at a coffee house in Los Feliz, she’s seated outside, dressed casually in a black leather jacket. I’m a woman and a fan of the NFL, and I felt like they were slapping us all in the faces by even entertaining the idea that this was not a big deal.”Beadle also calls ESPN’s coverage of the Ray Rice affair “abysmally depressing,” confessing, “Every time I looked up, I saw men talking about it.Her rolled-up sleeve reveals a tattoo of a blue flower on her right wrist that says “Amore”—the nickname her Italian mother used to call her. Men were talking about Ray Rice and domestic violence, and saying strange things.”Her tweets calling out the caricature that is Stephen A.She looks more rocker than buttoned-up talking head, and Beadle is just as fast-talking and unfiltered as her on-air persona and gleefully unhinged Twitter handle suggests. Smith for his asinine comments on domestic violence made Beadle one of the precious few people at ESPN to speak candidly about the epidemic of domestic violence in sports.And the timing was curious, with the Grantland EIC, podcast host, and commentator getting canned just one day after ripping into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, repeating an apparent offense that had earned him a three-week suspension last year. It’s a business, and it’s probably somebody asking for too much.