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Last week, ESPN employee Bill Simmons went on his own podcast, The BS Report, and absolutely shredded Roger Goodell and his handling of the Ray Rice situation. Among other things, Simmons called Goodell a “liar” with “no integrity whatsoever,” and ended his rant by saying, “You leave me alone. The Commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast.”
Apparently not, Bill.
In the wake of his comments on Goodell and daring ESPN to punish him for his words, the network decided to do just that when they announced last night that they would be suspending Simmons for three weeks. Public outcry ensued, and with the hashtag #freesimmons running rampant on the internet today, the microscope now turns to ESPN and the assertion that they’re very much in the NFL’s pocket.
But after a little digging, it’s evident that Simmons’ suspension is not the first time ESPN has acted to protect its image (and more importantly its partnerships). From the cancellation of Playmakers to Simmons’ three-week work stoppage, check out A Recent History of ESPN Bending to Outside Pressure.