Bill Simmons returned from his three-week suspension from ESPN last week and after a few tranquil, diplomatic days — which included the premiere of his new TV show, “The Grantland Basketball Hour’’ and his first column in weeks — the columnist seems to have taken an angrier turn Friday.
His targets? The NFL. And maybe even the media goliath that employs him.
Simmons fired off a series of three tweets Friday night, linking to an ESPN.com story in which the attorney spearheading a players’ union investigation of Ray Rice accuses both the league and Baltimore Ravens of being uncooperative and feigning their public statements about transparency.
The article, titled “Union: NFL, Ravens Not Cooperating,’’ quotes former federal prosecutor Richard Craig Smith telling the Associated Press in no uncertain terms that his investigators “are not allowed to do their jobs.’’
"We cannot accept public statements that call for transparency, candor and openness, and then not allow the investigators to do their jobs."— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 25, 2014
"If the NFL is genuinely concerned about fixing the issues that led to an admitted mistake, then they should be honest and forthright..."— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 25, 2014
Simmons, who was punished by ESPN for calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell “a liar’’ and then basically daring his bosses to do something about it on his podcast, “The BS Report,’’ has been mostly quiet on Twitter since his return last week, limiting his posts to plugs for his podcasts, NBA preview videos, Friday’s column and the “Grantland Basketball Hour.’’
Considering the remarks that got him in trouble — which included him saying, “For all these people to pretend they didn’t know is such f***ing bu****it. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.’’ — it’s tough to avoid the notion that by posting those tweets, he might be aiming some residual ire right back at ESPN.