Listen As Bill Simmons Takes Aim At ESPN, NFL With Conspiracy Dig: Says Network ‘In The Bag’

Former ESPN sports commentator and analyst Bill Simmons, known as “The Sports Guy” who failed to have his contract renewed following comments he made disparaging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on The Dan Patrick Show in May, as reported by the Inquisitr, is firing back at ESPN with allegations of conspiracy in the second installment of his new independent podcast.

Simmons’ latest podcast alleges collusion between ESPN and the NFL. Simmons points out that sports commentators, such as Dan Wetzel with Yahoo Sports and Sally Jenkins with the Washington Post, have called out the NFL on what he holds as a poor handling of the Deflategate scandal, but with ESPN, he says, “you didn’t see anything.”

“It’s hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL, because they were,” Bill Simmons states in the latest episode of his podcast.

The Deflategate scandal Bill Simmons speaks about, for those who aren’t aware, involved the 2014 NFL AFC Championship Game, where the New England Patriots, who won the game 45 to 7, were alleged to have deflated game balls, making it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to throw and receivers to catch them. The NFL game was played on January 18 at Massachusetts’ Gillette Stadium in cold conditions.

After an investigation by the NFL and Commissioner Goodell, an announcement was made stating that Brady was to be suspended, without pay, for the first four games of the 2015 season. Tom Brady appealed the decision in U.S. District court, where Judge Richard Berman threw out the NFL’s decision to suspend the quarterback, citing “1) No notice of discipline; 2) No testimony from NFL general council Jeff Pash; and 3) No access to the files from the Ted Wells Report,” according to NFL.com. The NFL has begun an appeal, which Bleacher Report says will not be heard before February 1, 2016, after the end of the 2015 season.

Bill Simmons is no stranger to controversy. In May, Simmons reportedly stated that Commissioner Goodell lacked “testicular fortitude” on Dan Patrick’s show, which some speculate is what caused ESPN to announce that his contract would not be renewed the next day. Simmons is reported to have learned of the news through Twitter.

Sports analyst Bill Simmons takes aim at ESPN.
Bill Simmons at the 2014 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

The remark Simmons made on Patrick’s show was speculated by Patrick to be the “straw broke the overloaded camel’s back,” as reported by Sports Grid. In October 2014, on his B.S. Report, Simmons was reported to have called the NFL commissioner a “liar.” ESPN suspended Simmons for the dig, and Patrick speculated that ESPN may have told him to “cool it” with his Goodell rhetoric in the future.

Simmons has clashed with ESPN management on more than one occasion. In 2008, Simmons was set for an interview then-Senator Barack Obama, who was campaigning for the Democratic nomination, according to Deadspin. The interview was cancelled with little explanation. As a result, a feud erupted between Simmons and ESPN, with Simmons posting defiant images on Instagram.

“Yes, I still work for ESPN,” Simmons was quoted at the time by Deadspin, “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.”

Bill Simmons with Malcolm Gladwell.
Bill Simmons talks with Malcolm Gladwell in 2010.

Later in 2008, Deadspin also reported on the mysterious disappearance of the B.S. Report, seemingly with no word from Bill Simmons or ESPN. At the time, ESPN insisted that there was nothing to Simmons’ shows’ disappearance, and that the sports analyst had merely been “busy.”

Shortly after, Deadspin cited an unnamed source who stated Simmons had “quit” the show over ESPN’s editing of his statements with regard to porn stars and a fantasy football league.

“In one of his last podcasts, Bill made reference to not being able to put those porn stars in his fantasy league,” the source was reported to have stated, which the source claimed resulted in Simmons’ decision to quit the podcast.

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