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Bill Simmons Suspended By ESPN After Daring It To Punish Him For Anti-Roger Goodell Rant

Tony Manfred and Steve Kovach
bill simmons espn
bill simmons espn

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Bill Simmons. ESPN has suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks for failing to meet "ESPN's journalistic standards" during his most recent NFL podcast, the company said in a statement.

On the podcast, Simmons called Roger Goodell a "liar" for claiming not to have known what went on between Ray Rice and his then-fiancée (now wife) inside an Atlantic City elevator until he saw a tape posted by TMZ.

He called Goodell's claim about the incident, in which Rice threw a knockout punch, "f------- b-------." He then challenged ESPN to punish him for the rant, which the company did on Wednesday.

Here's his Goodell rant:

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. For all these people to pretend they didn't know is such f------ b-------. It really is — it's such f------ b-------. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.


The best point that a lot of people have made about this is this is exactly why he fined and suspended Sean Payton for a season [for Bountygate]. Sean Payton was like, 'I didn't know.' [Goodell] was like, 'Well ignorance [is not an excuse]' and suspended him for a year. This is the same exact situation and it's worse, because he knew and he's a liar.

And here's what he said about ESPN:

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 ... Please, call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you.

The full audio can be heard here:

Here's the statement from ESPN:

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 is Simmons' third suspension by ESPN. The other two were for criticizing an ESPN2 show and an ESPN radio show, respectively.

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