No one gets more joy in prodding ESPN than Bill Simmons. The difference between Simmons and another ESPN antagonist like Clay Travis, though, is that Simmons spent more than a decade as an employee and saw first hand what happens when you do something that rubs the Worldwide Leader in Sports the wrong way.
So when news came down that ESPN had handed Jemele Hill a two-week suspension for “a second violation of our social media guidelines,” it seemed like only a matter of time until Simmons gave his take on the subject — he, too, was suspended a few times during his time with ESPN for things he said on Twitter. In an article for The Ringer, Simmons recalled the way ESPN’s first ombudsman pointed out the hypocritical approach the network has towards its talent sharing opinions.
He then dove into Hill, writing that ESPN handles disciplining its talent on a “case-by-case basis” before mentioning that it always wanted to “stick to sports.” Ultimately, though, that became difficult for a myriad of reasons, whether it’s because the network placed an emphasis on diversity or because of factors the network could not control, like Donald Trump going after the NFL.