The Sports Guy is leaving the Worldwide Leader.
ESPN writer and contributor Bill Simmons is leaving the network after the two sides failed to come to a new contract, the network announced Friday. New York Times reporter Richard Sandomir was the first to break the news.
“I decided today that we are not going to renew Bill Simmonsâ contract,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement released by ESPN. “We have been in negotiations and it was clear it was time to move on. ESPNâs relationship with Bill has been mutually beneficial — he has produced great content for us for many years and ESPN has provided him many new opportunities to spread his wings. We wish Bill continued success as he plans his next chapter. ESPN remains committed to Grantland and we have a strong team in place.”
It’s unclear at this point what, if anything, Simmons has planned for the future.
Simmons joined ESPN in 2001 and wrote primarily for ESPN.com. He also did a podcast, “The B.S. Report,” which has developed into one of the most popular sports podcasts. In 2011, Simmons launched Grantland.com, ESPN’s online magazine. Simmons also did on-air work, serving as an analyst on ESPN’s NBA coverage as well as hosting the “The Grantland Basketball Hour” show.
In recent years, however, Simmons and ESPN butted heads on a few occasions. Most notably, Simmons was suspended for three weeks in October 2014 for calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar on an episode of his podcast.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SInow