The whip came down on Grantland mogul Bill Simmons from his bosses at ESPN on Wednesday night after the network opted to suspend him for three weeks following controversial remarks on his podcast about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
During Monday’s edition of the B.S. Report with Cousin Sal, Simmons took time out from guessing gambling lines to address the NFL’s current climate, which involves the questionable leadership of Goodell.
When Sal and Simmons got around to the topic Goodell’s presser last Friday in New York City and his handling of the Ray Rice situation, Simmons landed a clear and direct shot at the commissioner:
“I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape and they knew what was on it,” Simmons said. “Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. I think that dude 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 f——- bulls—. It really is. It’s such f——- bulls—. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.
“The best point that a lot of people have made about this is this is exactly why he fined and suspended Sean Payton for a season [for Bountygate]. Sean Payton was like, ‘I didn’t know.’ He [Goodell] was like, ‘Well ignorance [is not an excuse]’ and suspended him for a year. This is the same exact situation and it’s worse, because he knew and he’s a liar… I don’t like liars. I think that people who you know they are lying and they are lying anyway, those are the worst people.We know you are lying … Roger Goodell has no integrity whatsoever.”
Eventually, Simmons dared ESPN to question him for his stance.
Welp, challenge accepted.
In a statement released on Wednesday, ESPN stated their reasoning for punishing Simmons:
Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards.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.
While ESPN’s position is understandable, after all, the NFL is still a partner with the network. It’s not surprising they penalized someone.
Last Friday, former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said that Goodell should resign.
Meanwhile, Simmons called Goodell a liar.
Bruschi is still working. For three weeks, Simmons is not.
In short, there is more than one way to skin a cat.