Found March 15, 2013 on Awful Announcing:
PLAYERS: Bill Simmons
Yesterday the news broke that Bill Simmons was suspended from Twitter by ESPN for a few days after his public criticism of First Take. The immediate reaction volleyed back and forth and around in circles between several interpretations of the importance of the news... -Simmons got what was coming to him for criticizing a colleague. -Nobody is bigger than ESPN, even Simmons. -ESPN was suppressing free speech to protect Skip Bayless. -Embrace Debate is a red herring. -3 days away from Twitter is probably a good thing. -Who gives a sh*t? Let's be real - telling someone not to tweet for three days shouldn't even count as any kind of real punishment.  ESPN might as well have told Bill Simmons he couldn't have his ice cream unless he also ate his fruits and veggies.  It's not even a slap on the wrist.  It's a firm pat on the shoulder with a stern paternal glare.  There's no real consequence, ESPN just had to give him a brief, enforced vacation from Twitter for breaking one of their rules and hoped it was short enough that nobody would blab or notice. Unfortunately for Bristol, someone did blab to Deadspin's John Koblin and "ESPN SUSPENDS BILL SIMMONS" headlines were rampant.  While #FreeSimmons didn't quite turn into #FreeBruce, the episode is not a good look for ESPN no matter how you spin it.  It gives the impression that there's no room to speak freely about concerns over the network's downward spiral and exposes the "Embrace Debate" concept as the fraud it is.  After all, how can ESPN gleefully promote Richard Sherman calling Skip Bayless every name in the book but run the opposite direction when Bill Simmons offers tepid criticism of the same premise?  It creates a cognitive dissonance in the minds of ESPN's viewers and followers that is all too common these days.  Criticism of Skip Bayless is apparently only a good thing when it increases ratings and feeds into the carnival sideshow that is further cementing its status as the worst show produced by ESPN in its 30+ year history with each passing day. But with all that said, we missed the forest for the trees with the real importance of Bill Simmons' Twitter suspension. The central issue for ESPN isn't their biggest star and "spiritual leader" talking out of turn and aiming a couple critical tweets at Skip Bayless.  It's the fact that ESPN's spiritual leader was so offended by the atrocity that is First Take that he had to speak out publicly.  The Sherman-Bayless debacle was so unseemly, such a black mark on ESPN's brand, that Bill Simmons had to say something to send a message, probably knowing he'd be asked to stay off Twitter for a few days before he sent those tweets. Bill Simmons taking a few days off Twitter does nothing to address the real problem at ESPN - the slow and steady decline of the ESPN's reputation.  "Embrace Debate" is no longer confined to First Take, it's infected ESPN's other studio shows like a noxious gas with no end in sight. Suspending Simmons for violating ESPN's social media policy is like trying to save a sinking boat by throwing water overboard with dixie cups.  ESPN is doing nothing to plug the hole and address the real problem.  The hole is First Take.  And it's a sinkhole that is rapidly swallowing ESPN's credibility. The criticism of First Take isn't about being a "hater," it's about wanting and demanding for ESPN to be better than our lowest common denominator.  It's about expecting more from a company that likes to call themselves the worldwide leader in sports than diving into the gutter with embarrassing content that makes Maury look refined and sophisticated.  That was the message Bill Simmons needed to send to everyone in Bristol and beyond. In December, ESPN President John Skipper said he wasn't concerned with the tidal waves of criticism affecting ESPN's brand in an interview with SBJ: “The brand’s never been stronger. We care most about our brand with fans. We have no choice but to worry about our brand with our friends in the media and with advertisers and with business people. ... If you do the old concentric circle thing, of course the stuff that happens inside the figurative Beltway, happens first then it moves outward. We never want to wait until it gets to the edge. It hasn’t gotten to the edge. Am I concerned it’s getting there? No. But am I concerned enough to try and react and do things differently? Yes.” Thanks to the embarrassing Sherman-Bayless debacle and the Bill Simmons Twitter case, the damage done to ESPN's brand is closer to the edge than ever before.

ESPN suspended Bill Simmons from Twitter for criticizes First Take

Remember when Bill Simmons criticized First Take in the wake of Richard Sherman’s appearance? Well, apparently, ESPN didn’t like him criticizing the show so they decided to teach him a lesson by suspending him from Twitter.That’ll teach him to tell the truth about First Take.The post ESPN suspended Bill Simmons from Twitter for criticizes First Take first appeared on No Guts, No Glory.

Bill Simmons Twitter suspension, First Take, ESPN and more – WFNY Podcast – 2013-03-15

Scott and I decided to talk about the Bill Simmons twitter suspension and ESPN’s lack of comment on it. Not necessarily the normal topic of conversation on the site, but one that we both cared to touch on. Here’s what else we talked about that I can remember… First Take and the battle of Richard Sherman and Skip Bayless Skip Bayless’ history as a journalist Stephen A. Smith...

ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons From Twitter


ESPN Suspended Bill Simmons On Twitter For Criticizing First Take

If your Twitter feed has been feeling a little lean this week, it’s likely because Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons was handed a social media timeout by the Mothership in Bristol, for comments made regarding an ESPN program. The program in question is…wait for it…are you sitting down?…First Take, which features (a lot of) Skip Bayless saying (a lot of) things — and...

Bill Simmons reportedly suspended from Twitter for criticizing ‘First Take’

Bill Simmons reportedly was suspended by ESPN from Twitter for a few days for criticizing “First Take” last week. Last Thursday, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman went on the offensive attacking host Skip Bayless during an appearance on the ESPN morning show. The video went viral, and there was no comment from ESPN on the embarrassing segment. Simmons, who is the most...

Wes Welker's choice is down to Denver and New England, according to Bill Simmons

On the heels of a report that Wes Welker was considering leaving New England after they low balled him on their offer, enters Bill Simmons. The rumor mill continues. Before you say, "Isn't he a columnist/podcast host/pop culture/grantland creator/nba tv guy?" remember that Simmons does have connections in the sports world. How can he not at this point? He often references...

Bill Walton jokes about Bill Simmons suspension, Ray Lewis limousine

Bill Walton had a night for the ages while he was calling the Pac-12 Tournament game between Washington and Oregon on Thursday night. Those who are familiar with Walton know that the NBA legend has never shied away from saying what’s on his mind and telling the truth. That was certainly the case on Thursday night while he was working for ESPN, and I’m sure the network has already...

Bill Walton makes Ray Lewis & Bill Simmons Suspension Joke (Video)

If ever there was a king of ill-timed jokes, my music counterpart Taylor has to be the reigning king. But ESPN’s Bill Walton tried to take his throne yesterday with some rather interesting quotes about Ray Lewis and Bill Simmons. Watch the videos below courtesy of Blacksportsonline, as Walton takes a shot at new ESPN [...]

Bill Walton Made A Ray Lewis Limo Joke And Referenced Bill Simmons’s Twitter Suspension On Tonight’s ESPNU Broadcast

Bill Walton's on-air behavior has been consistently weird this college basketball season, and that didn't change tonight as broadcasting's biggest Grateful Dead fan launched into numerous questionable tangents during ESPNU's Pac-12 tournament coverage of Washington-Oregon from Las Vegas. Making first a reference to Ray Lewis's murder and obstruction of justice...

Bill Walton Jokes About ESPN Suspending Bill Simmons, Ray Lewis Murder Case (Video)

Bill Walton made jokes about two ESPN personalities in one broadcast? That should go over well. Bill Simmons was suspended by ESPN from tweeting this week after criticizing their show, First Take, last week. If Walton doesn’t watch his mouth, he may get a similar suspension from broadcasting. Walton was in rare form on Thursday while doing color commentary in the Pac-12 conference...

Bill Walton Praises ‘First Take’ After Finding Out About It From Bill Simmons’ ESPN Twitter Suspension (Video)

Bill Walton just can’t help himself. The former NBA star turned NCAA basketball color commentator has been having a little too much fun broadcasting the Pac-12 conference tournament. On Thursday night, Walton made cracks about Ray Lewis and Bill Simmons (both ESPN employees). He was at it again on Friday, referencing the suspension from Twitter that Simmons received after criticizing...

Bill Walton with Ray Lewis limo and Bill Simmons jokes, because he’s Bill Freakin’ Walton

Bill Walton says what Bill Walton wants, especially during the Pac 12 Tournament when he dropped a Ray Lewis limo joke and a Bill Simmons joke in one broadcast.
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