On Monday, ESPN’s Bill Simmons challenged his employer to discipline him for excoriating NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. Simmons, on his Grantland.com podcast, repeatedly called Goodell a liar for saying that he had not seen the elevator video of Rice punching his fiancée.
Simmons calmly delivered his harshly critical remarks while peppering them with obscenity — an incendiary brew, especially considering ESPN’s business relationship with the N.F.L. on “Monday Night Football,” the college draft and other programming.
ESPN did not wait long to discipline Simmons.
On Wednesday, it suspended him for three weeks from all his activities: a long menu that includes columnist, podcast host, editor in chief of Grantland and executive producer of the 30 for 30 documentary series.
“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards,” the company said in a statement. “We have worked hard to ensure that our recent N.F.L. coverage has met that criteria.”
Simmons, ESPN said, “did not meet those obligations.”
On his Grantland podcast, Simmons said: “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.” He added: “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.”
ESPN has removed the podcast from the Grantland website.
This is the third suspension for Simmons in his career at ESPN, and the most serious. In 2009 and 2013, he was barred from using Twitter for messages that violated company guidelines. In the latter case, he said that a quarrel on ESPN2’s “First Take” between Skip Bayless and the Seattle Seahawks was “awful and embarrassing.”
Simmons was unavailable for comment on the latest ESPN action against him.
For more visit the NY Times where this story was published
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”
DeAngelo Hall Explains His Exit From Commanders Radio Booth
“I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do.”
In a case of “you never know who’s listening”, 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. got a surprise on Wednesday. Former NFL pro-bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall texted Brian Mitchell of BMitch & Finlay that he was listening and wanted to join the program.
After discussing some opinions of the Commanders and other rivals on the field, Hall made a point to address leaving the team’s radio booth as a color analyst. In April it was announced that Hall would exit the broadcast booth. At the time it was reported that the decision was Hall’s. On BMitch & Finlay he added more context by explaining that, “it just felt like it wasn’t the right situation for myself.”
Hall went further by adding that a deciding factor for his decision seemed to be the team’s vision for the broadcast.
“I need to see it. I’m a fan first and it made it hard sometimes to go to work because my vision of what I thought it should be wasn’t ultimately what the decision-makers wanted to do. And you know how I am guys, I speak my mind and I just asked to go my separate way. I still love the organization, I’m still rooting for them.”
The former Washington player joined Bram Weinstein and analyst Julie Donaldson when the Washington Commanders overhauled their entire broadcast crew after an organization-wide sexual harassment scandal mentioned former play-by-play voice Larry Michael.
Hall was sure to praise his former teammate taking his role. “But so hyped for London Fletcher. I told Julie and Fletch at separate times man, that Fletch was such a great teammate and an inspirational person in my life and my process of growing as a pro and as a man, that taught me so much about the game. I couldn’t be happier that she gets a hell of a replacement in London Fletcher.
“I’m hyped for those guys but I’m too pretty to be on the radio, guys, I need more face time,” Hall quipped. “I’m fighting to get in one of them booths. When you see Tom Brady making 10-for-375 I said ‘I’m in the wrong business.’ When you’re watching Tony and them guys I’m in the wrong business. I got to get off this radio and get my face in front of the tizzube.”