Bill Simmons quietly returned to work at Grantland last week after serving a three-week suspension, the result of a rant against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in which the ESPN golden child challenged his bosses to do something about his comments. They did, and Simmons went quiet for those three weeks, mostly playing golf during his time off.
Filmmaker and fellow ESPN contributor Michael Rapaport said in a HuffPost Live interview Monday that he doesn't think the Simmons rebellion was pre-planned, and that Simmons is still a loyal employee.
"I think he's pro-ESPN. I don't think he would ever intentionally say those things," Rapaport told host Ricky Camilleri. "I was on this show [HuffPost Live] one time and said things. It takes on a life of its own. In this day and age, you have to really be careful what you say."
Rapaport visited HuffPost Live to chat about his documentary, "When The Garden Was Eden," a look back on Madison Square Garden in the 1970s. The film is part of ESPN's wildly popular "30 for 30" series, created by Simmons. Rapaport has also appeared on Simmons' podcast, "The B.S. Report."
"Listen, we're living in a corporate society, and I think that Bill knew when he put that bait out there that was going to happen," Rapaport said. "I don't think he wanted vacation. I don't think he was like, 'I want four days off. Fuck Roger Goodell.' I don't think it was planned. I think it's just something that happened. Bill Simmons is a good dude, and I think he's good for sports, and I think he's got a good perspective."
Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch Rapaport's full HuffPost Live conversation here.
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