The departure of Bill Simmons from ESPN has been, to say the least, a little acrimonious.
Just last week we reported a story of how Simmons ripped into ESPN calling it “fucking high school” and taking a few shots at those who worked with him there. Simmons has since apologized, but the damage was obviously done.
I say that because ESPN President John Skipper has apparently had enough of Simmons criticisms and finally gave a reason as to why Simmons was let go from the Worldwide Leader.
The reason for Skipper’s coming clean has to do with speculation Simmons made in a recent New York Times piece. Simmons wondered if his critiques of the NFL and Roger Goodell may have somehow led to his dismissal…
Mr. Simmons says he wonders if something else was at play. A few months after his ouster, [Disney CEO Robert Iger] emerged as a champion of a proposed new stadium near Los Angeles that would have been shared by the San Diego Chargers and a relocated Oakland Raiders team — with an option to buy a stake in either team. “One of my working theories was, maybe this was driven by Iger because he wants a team.”
It would seem that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back as Skipper fired back at Simmons with his most vocal criticism yet…
“Bill would rather spin conspiracy theories and be perceived as a martyr than take responsibility for his own actions. Let me be unequivocal and clear and take responsibility for my actions: I alone made the decision, and it had nothing to do with his comments about the commissioner. I severed our relationship with Bill because of his repeated lack of respect for this company and, more importantly, the people who work here.”
Simmons’ new show called Any Given Wednesday premieres on June 22 on HBO.