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ESPN's Linda Cohn RIPS FORMER CO-WORKER Michelle Beadle Doesn't Belong In Sports

EXCLUSIVE
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ESPN badass Linda Cohn HATES people like Michelle Beadle ... telling TMZ Sports women who get into sports-reporting with an agenda to be on shows like "Access Hollywood" make her blood boil.

Cohn never mentioned Beadle by name when we ran into her in NYC this week ... but it's obvious she was talking about M.B. since Beadle was a sideline reporter for the Nets, worked for ESPN and then left to become the co-host of  "Access."

Here's the backstory ... we were asking Linda about the ongoing battle that female sports journalists face in the workplace when Linda broke it down for us:

"I've been very outspoken I always tell young women they should aim HIGHER than being sideline reporter if they really love sports and have a passion for it."

"And if they're knowledgeable about it, do your homework ... show us how knowledgeable you are and go out there and kick some butt."

"But if you're just using it as a stepping stone to be on 'Access Hollywood' then you're not needed here."

Boom.

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11:04 AM PT -- Beadle just responded on Twitter ... and essentially blew the whole thing off.

"Just scheduled a sweet pillow fight with @lindacohn....kissing optional. Nice try, Internet. Smooches, mama. #nocatfighthere" For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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