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Steve Buckley: Bill Simmons tried to out me 04.27.17 at 12:57 pm ET
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Steve Buckley announced he was gay in 2011. (Photo provided)

Steve Buckley announced he was gay in 2011. (Photo provided)

The Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley announced he was gay in a column seven years ago. But he says Bill Simmons tried to out him a decade earlier.

During the debut episode of WEEI’s latest podcast, “Two Outs with Steve Buckley and Alex Reimer,” the longtime sports scribe describes his coming out process. While Buckley wasn’t publicly out until 2011, he says he didn’t make much of an effort to hide his sexuality when around friends and some co-workers.

Simmons, who was writing for the defunct AOL Digital Cities in the late 1990s and early 2000s, often wrote acerbic commentary about Boston sports media members. During that time period, Buckley says Simmons made several thinly veiled references to his sexuality on his blog. Most of Simmons’ work for Digital Cities, including the articles in question, have been expunged.

“I’ve never really talked about this before, but Bill, during that period, made several references to my sexual orientation,” Buckley said. “‘Oh, he’s the most popular sports writer in Provincetown’ –– ‘wink’ ‘wink.'”

Buckley says the barbs “devastated” him and caused some angst. He was planning on coming out in 2003, but then his mother passed away, causing him to push the announcement back. When he penned his column eight years later, Buckley says he decided to not hold any grudges.

“I made a decision when I came out –– ‘Blood is a big expense,’ to use a line from the Godfather,” he said. “I wasn’t going to go carrying baggage for the rest of my life. If I saw Bill right now, I would talk to him about it. … I wanted to prevent the next Bill Simmons from trying to out me. So I dealt with it, and I moved on.”

When Buckley did come out, Simmons recorded a podcast with LZ Granderson, an openly gay sportswriter for ESPN. In it, Simmons seemed unimpressed with the nature of Buckley’s announcement.

“In 2011, is it too little to come out and write a column that says, ‘I’m gay?,'” he asked.

After the column was published, Buckley says he read some criticism from members of the LGBTQ community who felt he was exploiting the work of activists who participated in the Stonewall Riots and other seminal moments in LGBTQ history. He explains the standard-bearers of the gay rights movement laid the groundwork for him to come out.

“Someone wrote a letter to the editor in a paper that someone sent me,” Buckley said. “The basic message was, there were people back in the 60’s and 70’s and the Stonewall Riots, fighting the good fight, the AIDS quote and all of that, and they did all of the heavy lifting and then I just kind of swooped in and took advantage of all of that. Those were the real heroes. To which I say, ‘absolutely.’ But here’s why they miss the point: All of those noble people, beginning with the people who fought the police at Stonewall back in ’69, why did they do it? They did it so I could come out. They did it for me.”

Read More: Alex Reimer, Bill Simmons, Steve Buckley,
Bill Simmons appears to chastise former Grantland colleague Jonah Keri for ‘stealing his idea’ 03.21.17 at 3:10 pm ET
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One of Bill Simmons’ signature pieces is his annual NBA trade value column. In it, he ranks the most valuable players in the league.

And now he says his former Grantland colleague, Jonah Keri, is stealing it from him.

In a tweet Tuesday, Simmons appears to chastise Keri for publishing an MLB trade value column on Sports Illustrated. Keri first started applying the concept to baseball players when he worked under Simmons, who served as Grantland’s editor-in-chief.

It’s possible Simmons is tweeting in jest. For starters, Keri wrote the same article on SI last year, and Simmons didn’t comment publicly. He also gives Simmons credit at the end of the piece, along with Fangraph’s Dave Cameron, who writes a similar column on his website.

“Thanks as always to Bill Simmons, who came up with the idea to rank all NBA players by trade value many years ago and urged me to start an MLB Trade Value series. Special shoutout to FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron, who’s been doing his own MLB rankings for the past several years,” Keri writes.

Given Simmons’ history of petty feuds, it wouldn’t be shocking if he were genuinely peeved. If that’s the case, he has little ground to stand on, considering ranking players based on their trade value is far from an original concept.

Perhaps Simmons is still stewing over the cancellation of his HBO talk show, “Any Given Wednesday,” which was discontinued last year after just 25 episodes.

Read More: Bill Simmons,
Damien Woody burns Bill Simmons on Twitter over cancellation of his HBO talk show 03.09.17 at 2:21 pm ET
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Bill Simmons, like many Patriots fans, seems to be salivating over the prospect of Jay Cutler joining the Jets. The Bears released the embattled quarterback Thursday, and the Gang Green have reportedly emerged as one of his top suitors.

For a multitude of reasons, Cutler and the Jets would be the perfect marriage. Placing perhaps the most polarizing and error-prone quarterback in the league under center for one of the most dysfunctional franchises in sports would likely further turn the Jets into a soap opera. There would almost never be a dull moment.

Simmons tweeted about how “Jetsy” the move would be, only to get shot down by ex-Patriots and Jets offensive lineman, Damien Woody. Apparently, Simmons’ former ESPN colleague doesn’t have a lot of patience for those who take shots at his former team.

This isn’t the first time another media member has insulted Simmons with a reference to his short-lived HBO talk show, which was cancelled last year after just 25 episodes. In November, NBC’s lead NFL analyst Cris Collinsworth brought up Simmons’ failed TV endeavor in a tweet after Simmons had critiqued his on-air performance during a game broadcast.

“Somebody needs to gently break the news to Collinsworth that the Pats have a weak front 7 and that’s why Seattle’s o-line looks so good,” Simmons wrote.

Collinsworth responded by saying, “Thanks Bill, we’ll look for you ‘gently’ breaking it down on that hit show of yours.”

In a matter of hours, Collinsworth deleted the tweet. As of publication, Woody’s diss remains up.

Read More: Bill Simmons, Damien Woody,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Bill Simmons rips ESPN’s Deflategate coverage, says network ‘is in the bag for the NFL’ 10.02.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL preseason: Bruins at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL preseason: Blue Jackets at Sabres, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
College football: Memphis at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Temple at Charlotte, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Columbia at Princeton, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)


Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons

— Bill Simmons, finally free from the shackles of ESPN, had harsh words for his former company for its slanted coverage of Deflategate and soft treatment of commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Granted, I’m a little biased here from what my experiences were the last two years at ESPN,” he said on an episode of his new “Bill Simmons podcast,” which was released Thursday and quickly shot to the top of the iTunes chart. “The way everyone else was covering Goodell’s role in this whole story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing. I couldn’t believe nobody called out ESPN about it because you had Dan Wetzel at Yahoo, you had Sally Jenkins at the Washington Post, you had all the people in Boston, you had different radio personalities and people really going after how the NFL was handling this, how Goodell was handling this, all this stuff.

“And especially in the weeks after the broken cell phone thing, when it came out that they had obviously leaked stuff, that something really legitimately shady was going on, and yet if you went to ESPN you didn’t see anything. Charlie Pierce on Grantland was the only person who went after them. They didn’t really do anything until that giant Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham Outside The Lines investigation. It’s hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL — because they were.”

Simmons, who signed a deal with HBO after his mutual departure from ESPN this summer, mocked ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio show, joking that Goodell appeared with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic because he knew they were “going to get rough” with the commissioner.

Simmons also expressed frustration with ESPN refusing to allow him to appear on radio stations that are not affiliated with the network.

“For years and years and years and years I was not allowed on [WFAN legend Mike Francesa’s] show because of the ESPN policy that they only want you to be on ESPN Radio shows,” Simmons said. “Which I kind of understand except for the part if I am trying to raise my profile in different cities, say a city like Boston where I grew up and lived 10 years after college, it maybe might help me in those cities to go on the local radio shows there. Francesa, I could never go on and it was always a dream to go on.”

— Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith was knocked out of Thursday night’s overtime win over the Steelers after he was hit in the back, and he made it clear he won’t soon forget it. The only problem is, he appears to be threatening revenge on the wrong player.

Late in the third quarter, Smith was tackled by linebacker Lawrence Timmons and cornerback Antwon Blkae. However, Smith told reporters he blamed an “ex-teammate,” apparently safety Mike Mitchell. Both players were members of the 2013 Panthers.

“How do I feel? Probably for the first time in my career, I feel like I’m 36,” Smith said after the game. “I got speared in the back by an ex-teammate. I kind of know his character, who he is. After he hit me, he said, ‘How do you like that.’ ”

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Read More: Bill Simmons, ESPN, Steve Kerr, steve smith
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Brandon Bass, other new Lakers awkwardly silent about contact with Kobe Bryant 07.23.15 at 8:29 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


— The Lakers introduced their new trio of players Wednesday, and the most memorable moment of the press conference concerned their reaction to an apparent lack of enthusiasm for their acquisition by franchise cornerstone Kobe Bryant.

Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and former Celtic Brandon Bass were welcomed to Los Angeles by the team, but Bryant — who has been criticized for failing to help land any high-profile free agents — has been noticeably quiet.

Asked if Bryant had reached out to any of them, the players said nothing. Bass smiled during the period of awkward silence, although he later said he’€™s looking forward to “a great opportunity to play with one of the greatest ever to play the game.”

Williams, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season with the Raptors and was named Sixth Man of the Year, spoke highly of the team’€™s aging and injury-prone star.

“You always feel like you have an opportunity to win here,” Williams said. “And when you have Kobe Bryant, that always gives you an opportunity to go far. So for me, they have a winning tradition, they always are one move away from their team going from zero to 100 and you’ve got Kobe Bryant.”

Bass, signed as a free agent after four productive seasons with the Celtics, said he’s long been a Lakers fan and didn’€™t think he’d have an issue switching sides in the league’s most heated rivalry.

“I haven’t thought so much about it,” Bass said. “All I’ve thought about is me playing in purple and gold when I was in college [at LSU]. It kind of got me back to my roots. I remember being in college and being a Laker fan. I haven’€™t thought about the rivalry, but I know I’€™m going to get a lot of questions.”

— Former ESPN columnist and commentator Bill Simmons is headed to HBO, where he will host a weekly TV show and produce other content for the network’€™s digital platforms.

“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons said in a statement.

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Read More: Bill Simmons, Brandon Bass, kobe bryant, Zack Hample
Bill Simmons leaving ESPN 05.08.15 at 12:38 pm ET
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Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons, one of the most recognizable names in the world of sports media, will be parting ways with ESPN after he was not able to agree to a contract extension with the company.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to renew his contract,” ESPN president John Skipper told Richard Sandomir of The New York Times. “We’ve been talking to Bill and his agent and it was clear we weren’t going to get to the terms, so we were better off focusing on transition.”

The famously outspoken founder of Grantland and host of the B.S. Report came under fire for calling NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” in a podcast. ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks as a result.

Skipper insisted that the incident and suspension had no bearing on the decision to not extend Simmons’ contract, but did acknowledge that it was “about more than money.”

Added Skipper: “We’ve had an excellent run with Bill, almost 15 years. It’s been good for us and good for him. It was a decision I had to make and he had to make to move forward.”

Grantland, the sports entertainment site that Simmons founded and ran for ESPN, will reportedly be unaffected by the split.

“It long ago went from being a Bill Simmons site to one that can stand on its own,” Skipper said.

Read More: Bill Simmons, ESPN,
Bill Simmons goes off on Twitter (again) 11.06.14 at 2:21 pm ET
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ESPN’s Bill Simmons is at it again.

After being upset with a segment on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” where they discussed Simmons talking about LeBron James, Simmons took to Twitter to unleash his anger.

This comes after Simmons was suspended for three weeks earlier this month for his comments towards Roger Goodell.

Read More: Bill Simmons,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for comments about Roger Goodell 09.25.14 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Giants at Washington, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: UCLA at Arizona State, 10 p.m. (FS1)
NHL preseason: Ducks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NHL Network)


Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons

ESPN suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks after his profanity-laced comments about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whom he called a liar.

In a podcast earlier this week — since removed by ESPN — Simmons ripped Goodell for claiming he was unaware of the security video that showed Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator.

“I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape and they knew what was on it,” Simmons said. “Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar. I’m just saying it. He is lying. I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie detector test that guy would fail. For all these people to pretend they didn’t know is such [expletive]. It really is. It’s such [expletive]. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.

“The best point that a lot of people have made about this is this is exactly why he fined and suspended Sean Payton for a season [for Bountygate]. Sean Payton was like, ‘I didn’t know.’ [Goodell] was like, ‘Well, ignorance [is not an excuse],’ and suspended him for a year. This is the same exact situation and it’s worse, because he knew and he’s a liar. … I don’€™t like liars. I think that people who you know they are lying and they are lying anyway, those are the worst people.We know you are lying. … Roger Goodell has no integrity whatsoever.”

Simmons also challenged management to punish him.

“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell,” Simmons said. “Because if one person says that to me, I’m going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. … Please, call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Bill Simmons have been suspended by ESPN?

  • No, he did not say anything worthy of punishment (86%, 51 Votes)
  • Yes, not just for the comments about Goodell but for his unprofessionalism (14%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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Simmons and others at ESPN have been critical of Goodell in the past, but ESPN executives reportedly were upset that Simmons took it as far as he did and called them out.

“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards,” the network said in a statement. “We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria. Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.”

— When the Yankees head to Boston Friday, Derek Jeter‘s last three games will have very little meaning. New York was eliminated from playoff contention after blowing a three-run lead and dropping a 9-5 decision to the AL East champion Orioles on Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s tough. It’s what you play for. It’s a rough feeling,” said Jeter, who went 0-for-4 as the designated hitter.

It’s the first time since 1992-93 that the Yankees have missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons, and just the second time (along with 2008) in Jeter’s 20-year career that he will not participate in the postseason.

“It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “This is not where you want to be at this time of year.”

Said Jeter: “For the guys that are coming back and the team that plays it’s a feeling you shouldn’t like and you shouldn’t want to get used to.”

Jeter’s final home game is scheduled for Thursday, although there is rain is in the forecast. If that game is rained out, his final Yankee Stadium at-bat will go down as an eighth-inning groundout to first base. He received an extended ovation after the out, but he did not leave his seat in the dugout.

“The game wasn’t over. We were trying to come back,” he explained. “You can’t help but notice. I catch myself looking around sometimes and I’ve always tried not to do that, but I’ve caught myself a couple of times.”

Jeter was on deck in the ninth when Brett Gardner struck out to end the game.

NASCAR star Tony Stewart will not face criminal charges for his role in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race in Canandaigua, New York, last month, although Ward’s family announced that it will pursue civil damages.

“Our son got out of his car during caution when the race was suspended. All the other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car toward him, causing the tragedy,” the family said in a statement. “The focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart. This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin.”

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said that toxicology results showed Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time of his death and “the levels determined were enough to impair judgment.” Tantillo also said there was no evidence Steward did anything wrong.

“The videos did not demonstrate any aberrational driving by Tony Stewart until the point of impact with Kevin Ward, at which point his vehicle veered to the right up the track as a result of the collision. Prior to that, his course was pretty straight,” Tantillo said.

Said Stewart: “This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and continue to receive/ While much of the attention has been on me, it’s important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.’s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 25, 1965, the legendary Satchel Paige pitched three shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics against the Red Sox. The 59-year-old former Negro Leagues star, who was making his first major league appearance since 1953, allowed only one hit — a first-inning double to which Sox player?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’d like to shore up my pass protection. I’d like to work better with the offensive line and do some of those things better that I haven’t been doing well.” Nate Solder, on the struggles of the Patriots offensive line

STAT OF THE DAY: 43 — Years since the Red Sox started seven rookies in a game, which they did in Wednesday’s 11-3 victory over the Rays

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton takes a home run away from Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale plunks Victor Martinez and then accuses the Tigers of stealing signs, leading to the benches emptying.

U.S. soccer captain Clint Dempsey takes to the streets of New York and asks people about Clint Dempsey.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Carl Yastrzemski

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Will Smith was born on this day in 1968.

Read More: Bill Simmons, Derek Jeter, Kevin Ward Jr., Roger Goodell
David Stern says some owners are not opposed to contracting Hornets 02.16.11 at 11:32 am ET
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During a podcast discussion with ESPN’s Bill Simmons, NBA commissioner David Stern revealed that some team owners are not opposed to contracting the Hornets.

The league took over ownership of the Hornets from longtime owner George Shinn in December because Shinn was no longer in a financial position to run the team. Stern reiterated to Simmons that his top priority is to keep the franchise in New Orleans, but he acknowledged the possibilities of relocation or contraction, too.

Stern said the league has already been contacted by groups from Las Vegas, Anaheim and Vancouver, and also mentioned that Seattle would be a prime candidate for a relocated franchise if the city gets a new arena. He said that Kansas City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa all have NBA-ready arenas, too.

“But right now we are steaming full speed ahead with every single possible [intent] to make that team successful in New Orleans, and I think we’re going to succeed,” Stern added. “So we’re going to make it unattractive to move it or contract it.”

Read More: Bill Simmons, David Stern, Rumor Mill,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: ‘Best teams for the buck’ 10.14.10 at 7:54 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

No games scheduled


‘™¦ Forbes magazine has a list of baseball’s “Best Teams for the Buck.” The Padres, who recorded 90 wins with a payroll of just $37.8 million (29th in MLB), top the list, with the Rangers and Rays close behind.

‘™¦ Former Texas Rangers managing partner George W. Bush is enjoying the team’s success this fall. The New York Times has some interesting anecdotes about Bush’s time leading the Rangers, collected from other owners and former commissioner Fay Vincent.

‘™¦ Shawne Merriman‘s fall from grace with the Chargers is complete, as San Diego placed the once-feared linebacker on season-ending injured reserve with the additional stipulation that he be released once he is healthy. At the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tim Sullivan writes about how Merriman went from being a beast to a burden for the Chargers.

‘™¦ At, Bill Simmons explains in great details how he was the first to tweet about the Patriots’ Randy Moss trade.

‘™¦ Some versions of the 2011 Cavaliers calendar feature LeBron James on the cover. It’s not selling well in Cleveland.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 14, 1975, the Red Sox lost Game 3 of the World Series to the Reds, 6-5 in 10 innings. The game is remembered for the non-interference call on Ed Armbrister, when Sox catcher Carlton Fisk bumped into the batter before madking an errant throw to second base. Which Reds player later singled in the winning run?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ve got an 11 o’clock reservation I had to make. I didn’t want to stay any longer than I had to, you know what I’m saying? It’s my birthday.” ‘€” Celtics guard Paul Pierce, after hitting the winning jumper vs. the Knicks on Wednesday, his 33rd birthday

STAT OF THE DAY: 2 ‘€” Batters hit by Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett in a simulated game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday

‘NET RESULTS: A brawl breaks out during a basketball game between China and Brazil.

Roger Federer nails another between-the-legs winner, much to the dismay of John Isner.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Cliff Richard turns 70 on Thursday.

Read More: Bill Simmons, George W. Bush, LeBron James, Randy Moss