In case you haven’t heard, things didn’t exactly end well between Bill Simmons and ESPN.
Simmons has been pretty vocal about his former employer ever since ESPN didn’t renew his contract following a controversial interview with Dan Patrick about Roger Goodell. It turned out to be the last straw for the network, but instead of telling Simmons directly, Simmons and his Grantland staff discovered the bad news on Twitter after a New York Times article started circulating.
“It was f—ing sh—y,” Simmons said in a lengthy profile by The Hollywood Reporter. “By the way they handled it, you would think I played grab-ass with some makeup assistant or something.”
Simmons also described the final tumultuous years at ESPN, including the fallout of Deadspin’s piece about him becoming the “shadow president” and his 2014 suspension after calling out Goodell for his handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse situation.
But perhaps the most damning sentence in the entire profile, which was published Wednesday morning, came when Simmons said this about ESPN:
“They’ve now gotten rid of everybody who is a little off the beaten path,” Simmons told The Hollywood Reporter. Ask yourself this: ‘Who would work there that you respect right now?’”
Simmons since has signed a deal with HBO worth between $7 million and $9 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and he recently launched The Ringer.
But the wounds from his ESPN departure still appear fresh.
UPDATE (3:40 p.m. ET): Simmons apologized for his ESPN comments with a post to his Instagram page.
Thumbnail screenshot via The Hollywood Reporter
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