Bill Simmons provokes ESPN to suspend him, they oblige

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ESPN pontificator Bill Simmons called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar, and dared his bosses to call him on it.

So they did.

ESPN put out a statement saying Simmons was suspended three weeks for his profane tirade against Goodell.

“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards,” the statement read. “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.”

There’s no word as to whether that suspension is paid or unpaid — such that it matters, since any millions given to Simmons pales to the billions (as in 15.2) they give the NFL.

But it’s increasingly obvious that the four-letter network is willing to listen to criticism, after some holes were poked in their investigation of the Ray Rice suspension.

Considering Stephen A. Smith only got a week off for suggesting that domestic violence victims shouldn’t provoke men, it’s obvious where their priorities lie.

141 responses to “Bill Simmons provokes ESPN to suspend him, they oblige

  1. “Journalistic standards”?

    So if Bill would’ve written it down and italicized the tirade therefore implying it was an actual quote from someone he would’ve been ok.

  2. Bill Simmons was a 100% correct to call Fidel Goodell a liar. I bet Fidel Goodell saw and heard this video.

  3. So Ray Rice got 2 weeks for beating his wife, and Bill Simmons got 3 weeks for criticizing it?

    Did Roger Goodell fine Bill Simmons while he was at it?

  4. I don’t think they cared about his opinion, it was probably the way in which he spoke with profanity

  5. I agree 100% that Bill Simmons went a little above and beyond to gain some attention. I mean, what was more important to this guy during his podcast…to make a clear point that he sincerely believed the commissioner to be lying, or to make a profanity-filled provocation for someone to punish him for it? Dude, just make your point in a semi-respectable way, state that you believe the commissioner isn’t telling the truth, why on earth do you feel it necessary to throw in vile words and a blatant dare to your employer to act on your words? That is just all kinds of stupid, and this won’t be considered a highlight in your career, Bill.

  6. It’s good to see ESPN stick up for the journalist it employs.

    Way to back up your own journalistic integrity by cowering to the weight of the NFL. You know….the same NFL you hire journalists to cover.

  7. This whole situation is getting more and more ridiculous . The majority of people are tired of this story . Let it go people . Let’s move on… And oh , by the way, where is the outrage and horror in regards to the Hope Solo story? Why isn’t anyone screaming and jumping up and down about that? Why does she get a pass while everyone wants to ban NFL players for life ? Where’s the ESPN fact finding and digging on that? The way I’ve heard it over and over for weeks is that domestic violence is domestic violence regardless of who it is. Why the silence on this case?

  8. I can’t stand Bill Simmons, but I thought he was spot on. ESPN is taking its marching orders from the NFL. What a joke.

    Goodell is a liar and everyone with half a brain knows it.

    This drama gets better by the minute. The cover up is always worse and more interesting than the actual crime.

  9. When has ESPN “The Fox News” of sports ever been held accountable for anything that’s untrue!

  10. Although I agree with Bill Simmons take that Goodell is lying, he deserves to be suspended for taunting his employer. Espn will do just fine without Simmons; he, like every other employee of that network is replaceable, including Chris Berman.

  11. a “suspension” for a guy that hardly writes and mostly just talks to a podcast is basically clickbait. When was the last time anyone talked about Simmons on PFT? exactly. Suspensions are as B.S. as the non football related list that is going to continue to pay Adrian Peterson. If ESPN was serious they would fire him. But they won’t. Not when the only other thing they have happening at Grantland is captain debbie downer Wesley Morris and some feminist podcasters.

  12. “Journalistic standards?” Really? Many so-called “journalists” are skating dangerously close to defamation.

  13. So what happens to the ESPN producer who allowed the podcast to air unedited? Isn’t that the point of pre-recording this stuff? Not like it was a live rant and he hijacked the show.

  14. Lol ESPN only punished him because they’d really prefer the NFL didn’t take Monday Night Football away from them.

  15. It’s not ok for Simmons to talk down on Goodell…

    however, it’s perfectly fine for espn to skew words and put them in quotations.


  16. Who cares how he chooses to run things? Why does it matter if he lies…..or doesn’t lie? Nobody is screaming for the heads of other conglomerates like Burger King and Walgreens…..two of the biggest tax cheats in the history of business. You want capitalism? You got it. Now shut up.

  17. The only reason the NFL is raising so much hell with Peterson, Rice, Hardy ect., is to take the focus off of Ol’ Rog. Been saying it all along during this fiasco!

  18. Everyone here, you do realize he was suspended for the extreme profanity, not his statement that Godell is a liar. He also called out the hand that feeds him which is just asking for it.

  19. Lol “journalistic standards” like your most recent Ray Rice-Baltimore Ravens story where one of your writers claimed a guy who was actually playing was watching the game with Ray Rice.

    The one that quoted a text message that really wasnt a quote.

    Wow there are a lot of stupid things corporate gravy trainers say. How do they have a job when they are so incompetent and insincere

  20. Bill Simmons is almost as big a D-bag as you guys, but it is still funny how much you and Florio are jealous of ESPN. I hate ESPN and their biased and unending coverage of everything New England as much as the next guy, but its certainly better than being the equivalent of the sports tabloids that you guys are. Did you hear an alien landed at Heinz Field this week and it turns out he was Roethlisbergers love child from his previous questionable relationships?

  21. ESPN “The Fox News” of sports

    Hardly. Liberals dislike Fox News because conservatives are given a voice there.

    You don’t have to worry about that at ESPN.

  22. Bill Simmons is an idiot, so good I’m glad they have suspended him. When he’s not talking rubbish about the Miami Heat he’s being an idiot over Roger Goodell. The owners are not firing him, no way, it’s ridiculous for anyone to think they are.
    Let’s move on from all the wife beatings and talk about football.

  23. BSPN and Faux News. Both are garbage and it’s not even debatable so save it zookeeper lovers.

  24. Goodell is a liar and a coward. This is no secret. He deserves to be crucified fully. He lied, spun, pretended not to know, and did damage control–for what? To avoid the negative fallout of the video showing one of the NFL stars and known “good guys” viciously slugging his girl unconscious, then dragging her along like she was trash. He is complicit in this action by trying to keep it under wraps and failing to stand up like a real man and deal with it. It’s all about money–as these cowardly boot lickers like Goodell prove every single day–you give them your dollars, you support it too.

  25. Bspn and journalistic standards in the same sentence, there’s an oxymoron for you.

    Haven’t watched it in years.

  26. I am not a fan of Goodell. He has been the most strict commissioner with personal conduct and the fines for hits are ridiculous. that said, Its unethical for the press to report stories made up by “anonymous sources” and report it as fact. It should be illegal. Own up to your story or dont report it………………..

    of course its all about ratings and controversy

  27. I’ve called for a boycott of ESPN regarding the Ray Lewis situation, let’s add this incident to the list. As much as I have not cared much for Simmons over the years, he is dead right on this one. BOYCOTT ESPN.

  28. Don’ t care about Simmons, ESPN, Ray Rice, or anybody else. I can’t stand Tony Stewart but I don’t care that no charges will be filed against him. I choose not to believe that Rory and Graeme are fighting and the NBA will soon be practicing, can’t we let this crap go????? Can’t we take what is left of this season and enjoy it without trying to put someone’s head on a pike?

  29. I guarantee you, NOBODY on nor any of your “commenters” has any knowledge of whether Goodell lied or not. Not even Bill Simmons and his high horse.

    But, I will say, this comment “Considering Stephen A. Smith only got a week off for suggesting that domestic violence victims shouldn’t provoke men, it’s obvious where their priorities lie.” does say a lot about ESPN.

    Calling Goodell a liar and cussing=3 weeks
    Saying sometimes women deserve to get hit = 1 week

    Geez, I think I know where Goodell got his training on how to discipline. He got it from ESPN.

  30. The Commish just gave you a choke slam through a folding table in the ESPN break room. Think Simmons has the balz to quit now? Nope. More like Richard Simmons.

  31. Commenting off the bench for the Chargers. . . says:
    Sep 24, 2014 8:14 PM
    Typical Liberal. 95% of what we see on TV, radio, movies and newspapers, including every bit of sports journalism is controlled by Democrats, yet you are going to complain about Fox News because they have some Conservatives on it?

    Go check the polls on who is the least informed group and where they get their news.

    “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” — John Stuart Mill

  32. Go get him bill but remember Roger still has those patriot tapes and can expose them whenever he wants.

  33. To sort of repeat earlier comments, ESPN standards ? Also it’s OK for Ray Lewis to pontificate on countdown about Ray Rice and the lofty reputation he helped build for the Ravens, but 1 of their few intelligent voices gets suspended for what many people are already thinking ?

  34. I applaud Bill Simmons. It’s not just on Goodell. The media played a big part on this cover up.

  35. Shame on you espn. Suspended for speaking the truth? Is this China? Chairman Goodell is sending a message to the media to suppress all criticism and espn is falling right in line.

    I’m with the prior poster who called for a general boycott of espn. They’ve been exposed as being goodell’s ministry of propaganda.

    If Simmons has any self respect, he’ll quit. He’s has the only column worth reading on that website.

  36. Fk roger goodell. Be accountable for what you say and be accountable for what you mean. Goodell loves handing life lessons to people along with their fines but when he’s caught slipping up he still hands life lessons with no accountability

  37. The only reason to watch the Four Letter Network is for live game broadcasts. The rest is garbage.

  38. It would be fine for Simmons to say, in a professional way, that he doesn’t believe Commissioner Goodell. But, no, let’s get attention, let’s be the loudest guy screaming. He got attention alright.

    That said, I’m not praising ESPN in any way. Any semblance of “journalistic integrity” went out the window with LeBron and “The Decision” broadcast.

  39. I don’t care about Bill Simmons (whoever he is) or whether Roger Goodell lied….let’s get back to grown men concussing themselves to the point of early onset Alzheimers….I need entertainment!!

  40. “Considering Stephen A. Smith only got a week off for suggesting that domestic violence victims shouldn’t provoke men, it’s obvious where their priorities lie.”

    I just realized something. I agree with Darin Gantt.

    ::head explodes::

  41. “Considering Stephen A. Smith only got a week off for suggesting ttr hat domestic violence victims shouldn’t provoke men, it’s obvious where their priorities lie.”

    So the implication is that if Steven A. Smith was white he would have gotten more than a week suspension? Or if Simmons was african american he wouldn’t have gotten 3 weeks?

    Or are you implying that race, not substance determines punishment?

    This whole issue from the start makes me wonder what priorities are priorities. Reverse racism is still racism, and reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

    If that is the case, than forget everything Dr. King spoke out about and stood up for.

    ESPN is only worried about the image they put out while covering the image the NFL players. I applaud Simmons for speaking the words all of us think in our heads.

  42. If you are going to call another man a lier you better be able to back it up with proof. Where I come from you also better be able to back it up with your fists.

  43. Simmons is a reflection of all media today…including PFT. There are no….zero…real journalists left. Someone to investigate and report the facts without imposing their personal agenda. For PFT to sound off at call is hypocritical. Makes me sick.

  44. nyyjetsknicks says:
    Sep 24, 2014 8:22 PM

    Go check the polls on who is the least informed group and where they get their news.

    “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” — John Stuart Mill

    3 2
    Report comment
    Sorry to inform you about this but both liberals and conservatives are extremely closed minded and badly brain washed by FOX & MSNBC. Both groups want to take rights from certain people ie Gays & Gun owners to name two. Obama is NO different than Bush and this country is going nowhere as long as a republican or democrat is in office. If you want to be enlightened look up what a libertarian is.

  45. ESPN and “journalistic standards” should NEVER be linked together. Hypocrisy, at it’s finest.

  46. “Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.” — John Stuart Mill

    So the stupid conservatives are to blame for Obama? Its the stupid conservatives that allow Bob Costas to hijack the football pre game coverage with left wing liberal crap before kick off?

    Most of us watch football to get away from all that crap. Since the draft he has talked about gay players, global warming, women’s rights and domestic violence. Yup sounds like conservative stuff to me. Liberals have invaded this great game. Didnt a QB get flagged for saying a bad word and hurting someone’s feelings? Aww. More liberal feel good crap.

  47. Isn’t ESPN suspending one of their media analysts considered a badge of honor? At one time or another, practically every media analyst who worked for ESPN has been suspended, including Kornheiser, Skip Bayless, Stephen A etc. I’m still enraged they fired great college football announcer Ron Franklin after he dared to call a female on-field reporter ‘Sweetheart’. So you call someone ‘sweetheart’ and get fired, yet you spit on ESPN and use profanity in calling Goodell a liar without any evidence to back that up, and you get 3 weeks. Such as the power of Bill Simmons at ESPN.

  48. Im sure its the conservatives who want started the whole change the #Redskins name because its offensive crap. Even though every poll showed there is no more than 10% of native americans who find that name offensive. At least they show more native american pride and heritage than the Indian Casinos do.


  49. Show your backbone, quit, and follow through on what you said, Bill. It was obvious 2 years ago that ESPN is the NFL’s marketing firm, maybe now you’re all getting the message.

  50. Never liked Simmons and think this is just an attention seeking ploy on his part. ESPN could suspend him for the rest of his life and nobody would miss him outside of New England. ESPN and their “journalistic standards”, now that is a hoot.

  51. I dare ESPN to fire Bill Simmons and forever ban him from working for the network. Moreover I dare all news and sports outlets to never hire this arrogant mouth. That’s correct ban him from working in the business. Let’s see how Bill Simmons does as a stockbroker or an insurance agent.

    Well I guess Bill Simmons needed a vacation LOL

  52. Simmons is the biggest douche in so-called “sports journalism.” Anyone who strives to be the next Bob Costas has problems.

    Also, when I heard this interview, I realized that Bill Simmons sounds a lot like Richard Simmons.

  53. His hero is Dan Lebatard!!!

    Lebatard literally wished on the radio for a suspension and, after the billboard stunt in Cleveland, he said “we’re going to get suspended for this” on the radio and look what happened?

    Lebatard got suspended.

  54. Simmons is such a nitwit it will be nice not to hear/see him for awhile and I really don’t care the reason it took to shut him up.

  55. …and that’s what happens when you demonstrate such poor judgement that you go so far as to pick the bills over the bolts, some people have no sense.

  56. it is a sad state of affairs when a so called “news organization” has so called “journalists” that can’t criticize so called “commissioners”

  57. While I’m no fan of Simmons, I believe in what he said.
    Goodell is a liar. Wouldn’t you lie for $44 million?

  58. Simmons, they called your bluff dude. If you really got something on Goodell, now would be the time to reveal it.

  59. Stephen A was right. It’s the only thing he’s ever said in which I agreed.

    He shouldn’t have been suspended. He only was to appease the torch and pitchfork crowd.

  60. Bill Simmons is a tool. He’s using this media frenzy to make himself relevant again. ESPN can fire him for all I care.

  61. And Skip Bayless is still free every day to share his crap. So that’s reaching ESPN’s standards but a guy calling out the NFL and Goodell isn’t. Good to know.

  62. Bill Simmons is correct that ESPN is hypocritical but….a three week suspension is no loss. His articles are incredibly long-winded and his jokes not funny. A vastly overrated writer in my opinion.

  63. I had never heard of Bill Simmons before this. Now I know why. He is insignificant and irrelevant.

  64. ESPN and the NFL are business partners. Their current relationship regarding Monday Night Football goes through 2021. No doubt, ESPN wishes to continue that arrangement beyond 2021, and possibly pick up additional games (CBS’s Thursday Night contract is a one year deal, with a one year option). It’s fair to say that there is a conflict of interest when ever ESPN “investigates” the NFL.

  65. I don’t think anyone outside the media cares if Goodell did or did not see the tape. The media outrage over this is their way of trying to continue to fuel this controversy to drum up content. I wish Goodell would have just admitted he did not care about the tape and based his decision off the court ruling. Outrage should be about the court decision and not the suspension from the NFL but that story won’t lead.

    So now that NFL has to become an investigative body and legislative body. Sheesh, they’re a sports league! And the hell with due process btw. Duke lacrosse is happy their issue did not happen in this day and age.

    Btw, every writer on Grantland is god awful except Simmons. I have never been able to finish a single story on that site that Simmons did not write, despite the fact all the other writers on there try to write like him.

  66. Simmons is only outraged because this concerns a Ravens player. If Ray Rice played for the New England Patriots Simmons wouldn’t even comment.

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