BILL SIMMONS PISSES ON ESPN; WORLDWIDE LEADER PISSES BACK!

By Mary Cunningham

Bill Simmons is retiring the Keith Olbermann trophy for burning bridges!

In an interview with the New York Times pegged to his new ventures — The Ringer and a show on HBO — Simmons suggested that Disney’s CEO (Disney is a partial-owner of ESPN), Bob Iger, wanted to buy a stake in one of the NFL teams in Los Angeles. Simmons said:

“One of my working theories was, maybe this was driven by Iger because he wants a team.”

ESPN president John Skipper responded to the Times with this retort:

“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.”

Last week, Simmons was the subject of a long feature in the Hollywood Reporter. Per usual, he didn’t mince words when he talked about ESPN, his former employer from whom he had a famously acrimonious split. He said of the network:

“Who would work there that you respect right now?”

Simmons later apologized to “the great and talented people” he knows who still work at ESPN in an Instagram post.

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