Bill Simmons: ESPN Is "In the Bag for the NFL"

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Bill Simmons

The former Grantland editor blasts the network for its handling of Roger Goodell.

Bill Simmons took a few swings at ESPN on Thursday, bashing the network's coverage of Roger Goodell during the Deflategate scandal.

Before getting into his thoughts, the former ESPN personality and Grantland editor prefaced his comments on his new podcast by acknowledging he was "biased," having had a tense relationship with ESPN before being dropped by the network in May after almost 15 years of employment.

“The way everyone else was covering Goodell's role in this whole story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing," Simmons said. "I couldn’t believe nobody called out ESPN about it.”

Simmons, who will host a weekly show on HBO beginning next year, said sports journalists at other publications dug into the story and scrutinized Goodell over his handling of the case, which stemmed from footballs provided by the Patriots for the 2015 AFC title game.

"Especially in the weeks after the broken cell phone thing, when it came out that they had obviously leaked stuff, that something really legitimately shady was going on, and yet if you went to ESPN you didn’t see anything," Simmons said. "It was just hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL, because they were."

Of course this is not the first time Simmons has blasted ESPN; he did so multiple times while working for the network. Simmons was suspended for three weeks by ESPN in September 2014 after he publicly dared the network to punish him for going on a profane rant in which he condemned Goodell's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. 

An ESPN spokesman declined to comment.

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