ESPN and the NFL: No Combined Credibility


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The New York Times on ESPN dropping Bill Simmons:

The outspoken Simmons built himself into a major brand at ESPN, branching out from his base as a freewheeling columnist to host a popular weekly podcast, the B.S. Report; to create Grantland; and to play a role in the launch and success of the “30 for 30” documentary film series.

But his future at ESPN became a cause célèbre last year when the company suspended him for three weeks for calling N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” during a podcast and effectively dared his bosses to fire him.

Simmons became a free-speech martyr during his absence, with the likes of Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow supporting him. Those who spoke out on his behalf on Twitter used the hashtag #FreeSimmons.”

Skipper said that the incident had no bearing on his decision to end ESPN’s relationship with Simmons.

But just YESTERDAY, the day before Simmons was dropped, USA Today reports Simmons said:

As noted by The Big Lead, Simmons was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday when the report came up during the interview. Patrick was arguing, and Simmons was agreeing, that the NFL was wagging the dog on the Wells Report and waiting to make suspensions or fines based on public sentiment. This is what politicians do all the time. But to Simmons, it was a nefarious use of power given his bizarre anti-Goodell fervor. (Emphasis added.)

“I’ll go further than you. I think it’s pathetic. He has handled so many things so badly — Roger Goodell — that it’s reached a point now where you have something like this, where it took four months to release the report, and he knew everything that was in it. He knows the results before the report is released to the public, and yet doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to do anything until he gauges the public reaction.”

Yeah, nothing to do with it.

ESPN is a joke. It is journalistically bankrupt, and in the pockets of what the marketing execs of the major leagues want. The NFL is a bigger joke. It’s constant presence in society is about as annoying as it gets. I’m sure they didn’t conspire this one up together.

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