Update, Sept. 24, 2014, 10:19 p.m. The episode of The B.S. Report that got Simmons suspended has been taken down. You can listen to several segments of the podcast below.
ESPN’s Bill Simmons thinks Roger Goodell is a liar. The Worldwide Leader’s brass thinks that Simmons should keep his opinions to himself for the next three weeks.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced that the Grantland editor-in-chief had been suspended due to comments he made on a recent episode of his podcast The B.S. Report. On Sept. 22, Simmons and Sal Iacono spiced up their usual guess-the-NFL-betting-lines shtick with some thoughts on the commissioner.
Listen to what Simmons had to say:
I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape, and they knew what was on it. Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. 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. And 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.
Pretty straightforward stuff really. Not much mincing of words. But Simmons, who ESPN has suspended from Twitter on multiple occasions, seemed to sense that he was getting close to the line of propriety. Later in the show, Simmons dared someone, anyone, to come after him:
Here’s the transcript of that snippet:
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. The commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. Thank you. … Please call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.
ESPN apparently did not agree that Simmons gets to talk about how Goodell is a liar on his podcast, releasing the following statement:
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.
This podcast wasn’t Simmons’ first attack on Goodell. On Sept. 11, the columnist ran a “Goodell-Must-Go” mailbag that led with the following:
Let’s break out the special-edition “HOW THE HELL DOES ROGER GOODELL STILL HAVE A JOB?” mailbag!
But first … how the hell does Roger Goodell still have a job?
Seriously … how the hell does Roger Goodell still have a job?
In all caps … HOW THE HELL DOES ROGER GOODELL STILL HAVE A JOB?
In bolded, italicized caps … HOW THE HELL DOES ROGER GOODELL STILL HAVE A JOB?
One more time …
HOW THE HELL DOES ROGER GOODELL STILL HAVE A JOB?
My answers: I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I seriously don’t know, and I can’t f---ing figure it out (I don’t know).
It’s official: Roger Goodell is the worst sports commissioner of my lifetime.
In conclusion: Bill Simmons does not think Roger Goodell is doing a very good job as the commissioner of the NFL.