Bill Simmons Suspended For 3 Weeks After Calling Roger Goodell A ‘Liar’
Despite being buried deep in the NFL’s butthole (Sensing a theme today?), ESPN “Outside The Lines” published an extensive report detailing just how far the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens went to minimize Ray Rice knocking his fiance out in an elevator before dragging her body half out across the floor. They practically bent the legal system to their will and they would’ve got away with it, too, if it wasn’t for TMZ and those meddling vids. So with that information in hand, along with dozens of other contradictory reports, Bill Simmons felt confident enough to go on his podcast Monday night and call Roger Goodell a liar before daring ESPN to tell him he can’t say that. Via Mediaite:
“Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar,” Simmons said Monday. “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 fucking bullshit. It really is — it’s such fucking bullshit. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.”
Later, Simmons dared someone at ESPN to penalize him for speaking out against the NFL. “I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell,” he 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,” he added. “I dare you.”
ESPN accepted his challenge:
“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.”
Keep in mind, that’s a week longer than Ray Rice got for punching the shit out of his wife in an elevator because everything is awful. In the meantime, ESPN sources are telling Business Insider that the “primary reason” Simmons is being suspended is for criticizing ESPN:
It’s a dare, and a silly one at that. But it’s also a criticism. Simmons is suggesting here that ESPN would punish a commentator for criticizing Roger Goodell. In preemptively challenging his employers to punish him, he’s hinting at the idea of corruption and censorship.
Of course, that seems like a reasonable excuse, but then why did ESPN pull the entire episode? If people suddenly hear the words, “Roger Goodell is a liar,” they’re going to magically stop watching Monday Night Football on ESPN? Jesus, have you actually talked to them? They saw a woman get punched out in an elevator and went right back to checking their fantasy league. Fuck, the most famous college football team in America protected a child molestor for years, and yet I can’t drive three feet without a “We Are (Still) Penn State!” bumper sticker smacking me in the face. If child rape isn’t going to stop these people, calling somebody a poophead on a podcast probably won’t hurt.