Part of the joy of following Bill Simmons on Twitter is the feeling that he doesn’t hold back — that, plus not only he can be snarky as all get out when the occasion demands, his tweets, snarky or not, are usually spot on. (He has one of the highest “repeat out loud” ratings in our house.) But The Sports Guy went a tweet or two too far under the sports net’s social media guidelines, and is now serving a two-week Twitter time out. It’s not a full suspension, more like the half-game version Florida’s Urban Meyer tried to give a college football player earlier this season for almost gouging out an opponent’s eyes. Simmons is allowed to tweet about his new book and accompanying book tour.
The Nov. 10 tweet in question is part of an ongoing tussle between Simmons and the afternoon team on WEEI radio in Boston: “Hey, WEEI, You were wrong, I did a Boston interview today. With your competition. Rather given them ratings over deceitful scumbags like you.” That would be the same WEEI that a month ago partnered with ESPN (NYSE: DIS) to carry ESPN Radio overnight and on weekends.
ESPN.com Editor-in-Chief Rob King explained in a blog post (via http://www.mediaite.com/online/bill-simmons-suspended-from-using-twitter-under-espn-guidelines/): “While it’s unfortunate — and sometimes painful — that not everyone outside of ESPN chooses to play by such rules, we choose to hold ourselves to higher standards. Regardless of the provocation, Bill