THE BLOG
09/25/2014 08:38 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons, Twitter Backlash Inspires #FreeBS Hashtag

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The NFL's recent spate of off the field conduct problems continues, this time with perhaps the most ironic casualty yet.

Bill Simmons, senior ESPN columnist, podcaster, editor of Grantland.com and Executive Producer of ESPN's 30 for 30 series has been silenced by ESPN for the sin of criticizing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

While ESPN has removed the podcast, it's still available on 3rd party websites if you'd like to take a listen...

The twitterverse has already begun scoffing at ESPN's clear conflict of interest between reporting on sports "news" and being a partner with the sports whose programming it carries.

Fans of Bill Simmons -- and the legion of readers who hate him, but respect journalistic freedom -- have taken to twitter under the hashtag: #FreeBS

Mr. Simmons' podcast is called the B.S. Report. Rarely does a hashtag so perfectly describe a situation so appropriately while incorporating the subject's initials.

This author is an avowed fan of Simmons' dedication to his craft, knowledge of sports and distinct analytical viewpoint, though a decided foe when it comes to Bill's widespread "Homer-ism".

Ever since the revelation of tape showing Ray Rice dragging his injured fiancee from a Las Vegas elevator emerged, the NFL has been on the defensive about it's players' off the field conduct - and lenient rules that condoned domestic violence cases, so long as there was no criminal conviction.

NFL Commissioner Goodell doled out a two week suspension to Rice, which caused the initial uproar.

Apparently, major media criticism of Mr. Goodell is a worse crime than striking one's spouse, because ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks!