Bill Simmons Suspended By ESPN After Podcast Rant About Roger Goodell
Bill Simmons, a sports reporter who writes a column for ESPN, has been suspended by the company for his disparaging remarks about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Bill Simmons Suspended
Simmons hosted a segment on a Grantland.com podcast, the B.S. Report, in which he maintained that Goodell was lying when he said he had not seen the video tape of Ray Rice and his then-fiancee in the hotel elevator until it leaked online. Goodell said that when he handed down the controversial two-month suspension for Rice, who knocked out his girlfriend during a fight, he was unaware of specifics apparent in the video.
"Goodell, if he didn't know what was on that tape, he's a liar. I'm just saying it. He is lying," Simmons said on the podcast. "If you put him up on a lie detector test, that guy would fail. For all these people to pretend they didn't know is such f—ing b—s—. It really is, it's such f—ing b—s—. For him to go into that press conference and pretend otherwise … I was so insulted."
Simmons went on to acknowledge that the strong position he was taking was not going to be popular with people with close ties to the league.
"I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I'm in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell, because if one person says that to me, I'm going public," Simmons said. "You leave me alone. The commissioner's a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast … Please. Call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you."
Simmons was right in predicting he’d be in some trouble. Answering Simmons' dare, ESPN apparently called up the reporter to let him know that he’d be suspended for three weeks for his remarks.
"Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN's journalistic standards," ESPN said in a statement. "We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks."