Skip to main content

It happens to the best in the sports media world. Mistakes are made, and then the footage lives on forever on YouTube. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols is one of the best reporters in the business.

However, Nichols can’t fully escape those embarrassing gaffes. She said she’s had quite a few, but her most embarrassing one happened during a football game in Buffalo.

Rachel Nichols is known for her hard-hitting questions

Rachel Nichols has become one of the more familiar faces in the NBA. The former host of ESPN’s The Jump, Nichols is always in the middle of a basketball conversation. As a sideline reporter, she’s still talking about the sport. Nichols, however, isn’t just basketball.

Two of Nichols’ biggest interviews were outside of basketball. Possibly her biggest interview came in 2015 when she interviewed Floyd Mayweather before his long-awaited fight with Manny Pacquiao. Nichols grilled Mayweather over his previous domestic abuse charges and kept probing as he dodged questions.

Nichols also challenged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the league’s handling of the Ray Rice incident. In 2014, the running back was shown on video hitting his fiancee in an elevator. Rice was initially given a two-game suspension. The suspension then grew indefinitely. Rice never played another game in the NFL after the incident.

Nichols reveals her most embarrassing sports moment

While Rachel Nichols is widely known for her coverage of the NBA, her most embarrassing moment in the sports world came while covering the NFL. During an interview with Molly Knight of Marie Claire, Nichols elaborated on that moment.

“We were in Buffalo after an NFL game,” Nichols said. “I was on Sportscenter live, and it was one of those terrible winter days in Buffalo. I think gusts were like 65 to 70 miles per hour. It was freezing, and I was standing on a riser, and my footing was not great, and a gust of wind came while I was giving my report, and I just flew off the box.” Nichols said there is no video on YouTube, but “people have looked.

“‘Fall’ isn’t even the right word. I was swept aside by the wind. I was literally moved across the screen. We got disconnected, and I’m sure the anchor was like, “Well, we’ve lost Rachel.” But that’s one of 100 things that’s happened. It’s live TV. You learn to roll with it.” Like the true pro she is, Nichols kept on going.

Nichols is also known for her sports knowledge

Rachel Nichols had two different stints with ESPN. She’s shown her versatility by covering a wide range of sports. Today, she’s known mostly for her basketball work.

Nichols was the host of ESPN’s The Jump for five years. Aimed at basketball fans, the show was not flashy. Nichols would sit down with a panel of NBA experts, whether former players or coaches, and discuss basketball. It was a simple show, and Nichols liked it that way.

“We don’t have to be a pregame show or a postgame show; we can just have a conversation about basketball,” Nichols said, according to Sports Illustrated. “I am never trying to be doing glossy TV. We interrupt each other on our show, we have our warts and all. We are not presentation television.” 

Before the 2021 NBA Finals, audio of Nichols from a year prior was leaked. In the recording, the reporter alleged that Maria Taylor got to host the Finals’ pregame and halftime shows because ESPN needed a better diversity record.

Nichols issued an apology on her show, but ESPN canceled The Jump several weeks later. Despite having over a year left on her contract, Nichols was removed from programming. In September 2022, she joined Showtime Sports as a basketball contributor.


Jason Whitlock Nails the Bombshell Story on ESPN’s Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols in 8 Words