“Everyone lost. Including ESPN,” columnist Bill Simmons tweeted Friday.
That included, apparently, Simmons himself. ESPN’s preeminent sports blogger, who boasts more than 2 million followers, has reportedly been suspended from Twitter for three days for criticising his employer.
A source at ESPN confirmed to Deadspin that two of Simmons’s tweets on March 8 violated ESPN’s social media guidelines. Specifically, Simmons criticized a segment on the ESPN show First Take. He was hardly the first to do so—the show, and specifically, host Skip Bayless, are frequently accused of presenting controversial opinions to generate viewership.
Simmons’s offending tweets referenced a recent awkward segment on the program, in which Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was asked to defend his high opinion of himself as a player. Sherman retorted by calmly and deliberately insulted Bayless for almost three full minutes, claiming the host had “never accomplished anything” and calling him an “ignorant, egotistical, pompous, cretin.”
“I thought it was awful and embarrassing to everyone involved. Seriously,” Simmons posted.
“But what bothers me about the reaction to that segment is people saying Richard Sherman ‘won,'” he added. “Nobody won.”
Simmons has been suspended from Twitter at least once before. In 2009, he called a Boston radio station “deceitful scumbags” and bragged about doing an interview with the station’s competition.
In both suspensions, Simmons retweeted a few links, all of them promoting his or ESPN’s content.
As Deadspin notes, this is a big deal for the columnist, considering he’s otherwise tweeted every day but once since November. Simmons is expected to return to Twitter Friday.
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