Earlier today, Bill Simmons of ESPN/Grantland was suspended for his comments reguarding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his handling (or rather mishandling) of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. While the majoirty of America are siding with Simmons and defending him, I'm taking the latter argument. ESPN was completely justified in suspending Simmons, and here's why.
Firstly, the comments made by Simmons were on his podcast, "The BS Report." However, the podcast is produced by Grantland which is ran by ESPN, so ESPN does in fact have a say in what goes on and what is said. True, he is protected by his First Admendment Right of Free Speech but only in a legal sense. As far as I know, Simmons is facing no criminal charges. This was simply a business (ESPN) looking out for the betterment of their establishment. I mean its no secret that ESPN and the NFL are in bed with one another so ESPN disciplining an employee for denigrating the leader of the NFL should be no shocker.
Secondly, Simmons flat out dared someone from ESPN to do something about his comments. I don't know about anyone esle, but where I come from, if you walk up to someone and dare them to punch you in the face, don't be surprised when your tasting pavement. Seriously, did he really think he was going to dare ESPN to do something and nothing be done? Is Simmons really that dense?
Is what Simmons said fictional? No, but that doesn't mean ESPN wasn't justified in suspending him for saying something that reflects bad on a close partner of the company. I am in now way, shape, or form a supporter for ESPN. As a matter of fact, I despise them and think they are nothing but ratings whores. Having said that, I don't see any reason they should be jumped on for protecting their interests as a company.