Another ESPN employee was suspended today, not for saying things that can be interpreted as defending Ray Rice, but for saying things that are definitely very critical of NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
ESPN commentator and Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons went off on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during his podcast Tuesday, lambasting the commissioner for claiming not to have known what the Ray Rice tape contained:
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 fucking bullshit. It really is — it’s such fucking bullshit. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.
That rant caused ESPN to issue the following statement;
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.
Reports are saying that the man who stole the show today at the Roger Goodell’s press conference is none other than a Howard Stern employee, and we all know that if Howard Stern or any of his employees are involved, then the integrity of the situation is immediately devalued.
According to reporters at the press conference, the Howard Stern prankster was Benjy Bronk and his “don’t take me to the elevator” scream was a clear reference to Ray Rice and the elevator situation between Ray and his now wife, the situation that started this whole NFL mess.
Watch the weirdness unfold below
The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference today to say that he made a mistake in the Ray Rice situation. “I got it wrong” the commissioner said, “and I’s sorry for that.” With that out of the way, Roger Goodell went on to promise that moving forward things in the NFL will be different.
Goodell mentioned that former FBI director Robert Mueller is conducting an independent investigation into the NFL “to address any questions raised” about the process used in handling the Ray Rice situation, and Goodell “pledged” that any information or recommendation Mueller makes, would “lead to swift actions.”
He also stated that the domestic abuse cases in the NFL could help create change, “not only in our league, but in society.” He listed steps that the NFL is taking to improve the ways they deal with domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The commissioner also stated that the NFL has entered into a “long-term” partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Goodell said that these two agencies “need our help and we’re providing it.”
“We strongly, strongly condemn and will punish behavior that is totally unacceptable,” Goodell said. “Domestic violence, including child abuse, sexual assault, irresponsible ownership or handling of firearms, the illegal use of alcoholic or drugs. These activities must be condemned and stopped through education and discipline.”
He also said that he is bringing together the NFL Players, their Union and the owners, along with outside experts to discuss ways to better improve the standards “and identify the right procedures.” And he promised that the NFL “would implement new conduct policies.” These policies Goodell said, will be in effect by the next Superbowl.
During the questions portion of the press conference, the commissioner was asked multiple times if he would step down because of the way he handled the Ray Rice situation. He answered unequivocally, “no,” saying instead that he should not be fired because he admitted his mistake and is “focused” on doing his job and making the NFL a better organization.