JEFF PEARLMAN

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Bill Simmons

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ESPN suspended Bill Simmons today. He’s voiceless for three weeks over podcast comments he made, RE: Roger Goodell and the Ray Rice situation. According to Deadspin, these are the words he uttered …

“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. 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. I really was.

“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.”

God, I hate ESPN. I really, really do. Why, in this case? A few reasons …

A. Simmons is your brand. Love the guy or hate the guy, he’s carried that company from strictly a TV network to a web-based powerhouse. ESPN is ESPN because of Simmons’ Sports Guy column, which drove millions of readers to, at the time, a newish website. Suspend him? You should give him a raise.

B. What did Simmons say that was so bad? Goodell is full of shit. He would fail a lie-detector test. He blew this whole thing really badly. No secret.

C. Are you a news network, or an entertainment venue here to stroke the NFL’s erection? The answer is obvious.

Simmons’ take was terrific.

This is crap.