Bill Simmons is one of ESPN’S most controversial personalities. First hired by the network in 2001 as a writer, Bill Simmons has made more than a few notable contributions. Bill Simmons also had a podcast on 30 for 30, the network’s documentary project. In 2011, Bill Simmons launched a site called Grantland, which was in essence an online magazine.
Over this time, Bill Simmons had some controversial moments. One of these was when he got a warning from Isiah Thomas, the former New York Knicks coach, that if they were ever to meet on the streets, there would be a problem. This was because Bill Simmons had, for several years, poked fun at him through his columns.
However, they later on buried the hatchet in Las Vegas as chronicled in Bill Simmons’ book called Book of Basketball. In 2008, Bill Simmons’ slated interview with the then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was cancelled under unclear circumstances.
Moreover, Bill Simmons began appearing less frequently in the following months, eventually telling Deadspin that “certain promises were not kept.” On Bill Simmons’ absence from ESPN.com, he stated the following.
“Yes, I still work for ESPN. No, I’m not writing for ESPN.com as much — my choice, not theirs. That’s just the way it will be from now on, unfortunately. I’d have more to say, but I’d end up being profane and I don’t want to offend Buzz Bissinger.”
Another controversy that Bill Simmons was embroiled was in 2009 when ESPN went into partnership with WEEI, a Boston-based radio station. Bill Simmons got into trouble with the network after he posted inappropriate tweets about the radio station. Bill Simmons was reportedly suspended for two weeks for that, according to the Huffington Post.
Bill Simmons was also suspended in 2014 following his criticism of Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner. According to Deadspin, Bill Simmons also called him a liar. Here is Bill Simmons’ transcript from Mediaite.
” ‘Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar,’ Simmons said Monday. ‘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*******… And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.’ “
However, it seems that ESPN has finally let him go. According to Business Insider, John Skipper, ESPN’s president, confirmed that Bill Simmons’ contract would not be renewed and that Bill Simmons learned of the decision through a tweet. Richard Sandomir of the the New York Times broke the Bill Simmons contract news on Twitter with this tweet.
“Bill Simmons to leave ESPN, according to ESPN president John Skipper. ‘We weren’t going to get to the terms,’ said Skipper.”
[Image sourced from Wikipedia]