If you’re one of Bill Simmons’ over two million followers on Twitter, you might have noticed he was a bit quiet this week.
In fact, too quiet.
He hasn’t been as animated on Twitter since about a week ago, when he deemed a segment on ESPN’s “First Take”, in which Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman laid into Skip Bayless, “awful and embarrassing.”
But it was because of that tweet, as well as an ensuing one five minutes later, where he proclaims “everyone lost, including ESPN” (vis a vis people insisting Sherman “won” his bout with Bayless), that has resulted in Simmons’ Twitter inactivity.
ESPN has confirmed that they’ve suspended Simmons from using Twitter for three days due to his criticism of the Worldwide Leader’s midday golden goose. The suspension was apparently retroactive to Monday morning, as he hadn’t tweeted anything since a link to a Grantland piece at 10:33 AM that day. Since then, activity on Simmons’ Twitter account has resumed, albeit in the form of a couple of retweets for Grantland, as well as his podcast, “The B.S. Report.”
I wonder if ESPN had to conduct a “thorough review” of the Simmons situation before issuing the suspension.
So what did Simmons in was his violation of ESPN’s social media guidelines. I guess saying a segment of a program that airs on the network that signs your paychecks “awful and embarrassing” is not necessarily acting “responsibly, respectfully and professionally.”
And as Deadspin reminds us, Simmons was previously suspended for far more time – a total of two weeks – in 2009 for referring to Boston sports radio station WEEI as “deceitful scumbags” upon doing an interview with their then-new competitor, WBZ-FM/”98.5 The Sports Hub.”
One thing you can say about Bill Simmons: despite his suspensions, he still has major clout. That tweet from 2009, as well as those two tweets criticizing “First Take” last week, were not deleted from his Twitter account.
Compare that to just over a year ago, when ESPN suspended Ryen Russillo for his hateful tweets directed at John Dennis, who just happens to be employed by the aforementioned WEEI (well, for now, anyway) – tweets Russillo deleted after the fact.
Also, as Deadspin points out, Simmons was active on that other big social networking website you might have heard of – Facebook – while waiting out his stay in Twitter jail.
And he obviously spent time putting together his newest entries on Grantland, and his podcast.
A suspension for Bill Simmons?
More like a suspension with benefits.