Bill Simmons Apologizes for Swipe at Buddies Still at ESPN
Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter posted a piece on Bill Simmons, mostly discussing his past with ESPN and his future with HBO (his new show starts June 22!).
As one would expect, Simmons is still pretty bitter about ESPN and how they handled both himself and his projects, like Grantland. It’s tough to not join his side, even though he was kind of a douche to Rick Reilly back in the day.
However, while Simmons was ripping on the network, along with ESPN President John Skipper, Simmons said, “Who would work there that you respect right now?”
Unfortunately, Simmons forgot that many of the staffers he had over at Grantland found work at the mother ship, not to mention all of the people that helped him or worked with him on his podcast, columns or TV shows.
Not only did the quote happen – but THR even called it out specifically near the beginning of the entire piece, saying, “The controversial sports personality opens up about his acrimonious relationship with John Skipper, learning about being fired on Twitter, becoming a (gasp!) feminist and what he thinks of his former network: "Ask yourself this: 'Who could work there that you respect right now?'"
So Simmons took to Instagram Wednesday afternoon to clear the air and apologize to his former colleagues – and possibly former friends?
If you can’t read the text inside the Instagram post, we pulled it out here:
”Quick note from me…
The Hollywood Reporter had a well-done story about me today… I feel terrible that one particular quote came out in a way that didn’t portray how I actually feel about the dozens of people that passed through my life when I worked there (many of whom are still there). It’s 100 percent my fault – I’m sure I was trying to make some larger point and screwed it up because I suck at giving interviews. But my favorite memory of ESPN will always be all the great and talented people that passed through my life: people like Jalen Rose, David Jacoby, Doug Collins, Zach Lowe, Bill Barnwell, Mike Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, Wright Thompson, Rachel Nichols, Jay Bilas, Matt Berry, Dan LeBatard, Jon Weiner, Max Kellerman, Rece Davis, Doris Burke, Scott Van Pelt, Michelle Beadle, Ryen Russillo, Shelley Smith, Matt Berry, and Jalen and Jacoby a second time, as well as a few terrific behind the scenes people who helped me reach my potential there (Rydholm, Libby, Wildes, Kelliher, Connor, RKing, etc.) They meant a lot to me and still do. So today made me feel bad. My apologies for being a jackass. That’s all.” – Bill Simmons on Instagram
In the comments on the Instagram post, you notice that he didn’t mention Sage Steele in that list of talented people that passed through his life. She’s awesome, so we’ll assume it was just a mistake – and that he was bound to miss a name or two when doing an entire list.
I’d almost think writing out every name was a guarantee that he’d miss someone.
Kudos for Simmons for circling back and apologizing, though, and for saying:
”My apologies for being a jackass.” – Simmons
Photo Credit: Robert Beck, Getty Images
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