Rachel Nichols: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
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Rachel Nichols: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Nichols and Pittsburgh Steeler's Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Fame wide receiver Lynn Swann. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Rachel Nichols is highly regarded as one of the best and most versatile female sports journalists in the country.

She is the sole sports anchor for CNN and works as a sideline reporter for Turner Sports, mainly for the NBA on TNT. Nichols previously worked at ESPN from 2004-13.

At ESPN, Nichols blossomed into one of the network’s most popular reporters. She has covered high-profile sporting events — the Super Bowl and the Masters — and has interviews prominent sports figures such as: LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter.


1. Nichols Graduated From Northwestern University

Nichols interviewing Julian Edelman immediately after the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.(Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols interviewing Julian Edelman immediately after the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XLIX.(Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

She was born in October 1973, grew up in Potomac, Maryland and later graduated with a Bachelors Degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1995. The school is considered one of the top journalism in the entire country.

In February 2012, she returned to the university with former alumni to narrate a discussion on how to cover college athletics, which included: head football coach Pat Fitzgerald, Sports Illustrated senior writer Stewart Mendel and The New York Times college sports reporter Pete Thamel.


2. Her Husband is an Actor & Director

Nichols with female sports journalists including FOX's sideline reporter Pam Oliver. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols with female sports journalists including FOX’s sideline reporter Pam Oliver. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols’ maiden name is Rachel Marie Alexander. In May 2001, she married actor and director Max Nicholas and assumed her husband’s last name while her career advanced.

Max used to be a film director, but in 2014 transitioned into movies. He is most well-known for Two Night Stand (2014) and Ragtime (1981).


3. Nichols Worked for Newspapers Before Spending 9 Years at ESPN

Nichols with former ESPN co-workers Michael Wilbon (another former Northwestern graduate) and Tony Kornheiser. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols with former ESPN co-workers Michael Wilbon (another former Northwestern graduate) and Tony Kornheiser. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Before joining ESPN, she worked for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (1995–1996) and Washington Post (1996–2004), where she covered the NHL’s Capitals.

According to Nichols’ alumni profile from Northwestern

Rachel Nichols joined ESPN in February 2004 as a New York City-based reporter, covering breaking news stories and major events, as well as providing investigative pieces and human-interest features. In addition to her role on ‘SportsCenter,’ she provides weekly NFL features and reports for ESPN’s studio programs and regular coverage of the NBA. She is also a correspondent for “E:60,” ESPN’s first multi-themed prime-time newsmagazine, a sideline reporter for “Monday Night Football” and an occasional contributor on ‘The Sports Reporters.’

Not only was she praised for her looks during her time at the World-Wide Leader, she was also praised for her delivery …and her antics.


4. CNN Lured Her Away From ESPN in 2013

Nichols on CNN's set during Super Bowl week with Dan Marino. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

Nichols on CNN’s set during Super Bowl week with Dan Marino. (Twitter/@Rachel__Nichols)

She officially left ESPN at the end of 2012 and started working for CNN in January 2013.

She serves as CNN’s sole sports anchor, contributing exclusive reporting, commentary and analysis on the biggest sports stories across the network. She covers mall major sporting events for CNN. In addition, she hosts primetime specials. She works as a reporter for Turner Sports covering the: NBA on TNT, the NCAA Tournament and MLB on TBS.


5. Nichols Has Been Praised for Her Style of Asking Tough Questions

Nichols conducts an interview with Tiger Woods in November 2013. (Getty)

Nichols conducts an interview with Tiger Woods in November 2013. (Getty)

In September 2014, she was not afraid to ask Floyd Mayweather about his alleged violence towards women.

In November 2014, she essentially blasted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the league’s investigative process of the Ray Rice incident. She questioned what Goodell had actually done and if he made an effort to do enough:

Also you mentioned on TV last week that you tried to get the Ray Rice video and any information. The Atlantic City prosecutors office in an open records check says they don’t have any electronic communication from the NFL asking for those kinds of documentation or the video. Can you give us sort of the trail of how you guys did that investigation so people can know really what you put into it?

During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, she once again stirred up controversy with Goodell. At a press conference, she asked about how it is hard for the league to maintain its credibility when there is a “conflict of interest” involving all sides should an incident arise, especially when deciding to conduct investigations and the process of hiring people to conduct the investigation.

Here is footage of the question:


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