ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons for Anti-NFL Comments


He's been benched for three weeks

One of ESPN's top media personalities has run afoul of network guidelines once again.

Bill Simmons has been suspended for three weeks over heated remarks he made during his popular B.S. Report podcast, ESPN said in a Wednesday statement.

"Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN's journalistic standards," the network stated. "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."

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On Monday, Simmons had seemingly issued a challenge to the network to respond over comments he made about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's recent response to the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal.

"I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I'm in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I'm going public. You leave me alone," Simmons stated in the podcast. "The commissioner's a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. … Please, call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you."

Simmons, a columnist, NBA TV analyst and editor-in-chief of ESPN's sports and culture site Grantland, had been suspended briefly from Twitter in March 2013 over pointed comments made about ESPN programming. A network spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that his latest suspension includes all platforms.

ESPN also took down the web page where Monday's B.S. Report podcast was hosted after the suspension statement was issued. "It was taken down at that time," confirmed Mike Soltys, vp of corporate communications at the network. 

5:52 pm, Sept. 24 Updated with additional information

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