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Old 09-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #1
EricaLubarsky
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Default Free speech and sports press

Lots of different press-related incidents lately, so I thought it would be as good a time as any to start a discussion on the relationship between major sports corporations and the media that cover them. Admittedly, this isn't 100% a first-amendment issue, since these are private companies defending their own brand image, but where is the line drawn?

http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/09/24/esp...s-bill-simmons
Most recently Simmons, who I mostly disagree with, said some things I do agree with in a less-than-polite way. Further, the podcast he was on-- the BS report-- is an ESPN product and not merely something Simmons did in his offtime.

A transcript of the offending piece
Quote:
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 f--king bulls--t. It really is — it’s such f--king bulls--t. And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted. I really was.
also
Quote:
"If one person says that to me, I’m going public," Simmons said. "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.”
ESPN said,

Quote:
“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. 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.”
I have to support ESPN's ability to control it's brand, but I also have to support Simmons for speaking his mind on his podcast. Also, what if it's not just ESPN that was offended, but their partner (the NFL) that ESPN was afraid Simmons hurt? Employees -- particularly those in public jobs obviously can't do whatever they want with complete impunity, but neither should corporations be able to control the speech of their employees at all time either.

Thoughts?

Last edited by EricaLubarsky; 09-25-2014 at 02:15 PM.
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