ESPN today suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks over podcast comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Every employee must be accountable to ESPN, and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards,” the network 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.”
In his popular podcast The B.S. Report, Simmons had attacked Goodell’s assertion, at a news conference last week, that he had not seen the video in which former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his fiancee until it was made public by TMZ.
“[H]e’s a liar. I’m just saying it,” the Grantland editor-in-chief said in the September 22 podcast, which has been removed from ESPN’s website and iTunes Store. “He is lying. I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie detector test, that guy would fail. … For him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted.”
Simmons added later, “I don’t like liars. … Roger Goodell has no integrity. … I really hope somebody calls me, or e-mails me, and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. … If one person says that to me, I’m going public. Please call me and tell me I’m in trouble.”