Bill Simmons suspended after profane rant on Roger Goodell
ESPN gave Bill Simmons a three-week suspension after he called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar during a profane tirade in a podcast.
ESPN has suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks after he repeatedly called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar during a profane tirade on a podcast.
ESPN announced the suspension Wednesday.
"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. "Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks."
Simmons' podcast was released Tuesday. He said he thought Goodell lied about not knowing what was on a security video that showed former Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his wife in an elevator.
“Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. 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 ... . It really is, it’s such ... . For him to go into that press conference and pretend otherwise -- I was so insulted.”
Simmons then challenged ESPN.
“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell,” Simmons said. “Because if one person says that to me, I’m going public. 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 is the editor of the sports web site "Grantland," which is owned by ESPN. He also appears on ESPN's NBA studio shows.
This is the second time ESPN has suspended an employee over comments about the Ray Rice scandal. In late July, ESPN suspended sportscaster Stephen A. Smith for a week because of his comments about domestic abuse suggesting women should make sure that they don't do anything to provoke an attack.
During the Rice discussion, Smith alluded to women in abuse cases when he said, "Let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong action ... we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Shortly after Smith's remarks, colleague Michelle Beadle responded on Twitter that "I was just forced to watch this morning's First Take. A) I'll never feel clean again B) I'm not aware that I can provoke my own beating."