Bill Simmons will have to take a break from tweeting for a little while.
The writer, who has started his own media empire known as Grantland that exists within the ESPN network, was put on a three-day suspension after using his Twitter account to take ESPN to task for an interview.
Simmons tweeted about a recent confrontation between ESPN host Skip Bayless and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on First Take, calling it awful and embarrassing. In the interview, Sherman came out swinging against the volatile Bayless, telling the host that he’d never accomplished anything in his life.
“Whenever you refer to me, whenever you speak to me, whenever you address me, address me as All-Pro Stanford graduate because those are some accomplishments you will aspire to but never accomplish,” Sherman shot at Bayless. “You have never accomplished anything.”
From there the interview digressed into more name calling until finally Steven A. Smith stepped in to put an end to it.
Here is video of the interview in question:
The interview was criticized by many in the media, who said the incident gives a black eye to ESPN. But the network apparently wouldn’t tolerate any criticism from within.
Though the tweets were later taken down, Simmons was blunt in his criticism of ESPN.
Simmons wrote: “I am not defending this segment – http://youtu.be/j6x-O3kb1sI – I thought it was awful and embarrassing to everyone involved. Seriously.”
“It’s amazing to me that people get so worked up about First Take,” he added. “Who cares? Just don’t watch it. There are like 800 TV channels.”
Bill Simmons reportedly violated the network’s social media policy, which says that no one from within the network can publicly criticize its people or programs.
“Understand that at all times you are representing ESPN, and Twitter (as with other social sites) offers the equivalent of a live microphone,” the ESPN social media policy read. “Simple rule: If you wouldn’t say it on the air or write it in a column, don’t post it on a social network.”
Simmons stopped tweeting on Tuesday morning, and will reportedly be allowed back again on Friday. Though three days may not seem like much, it’s likely going to be difficult for Bill Simmons to stay away from Twitter. He has tweeted almost every single day since November, with just one day off on February 7.