ESPN Grantland Backlash: End Of Popular Site Angers Bill Simmons And Fans
ESPN dumps Grantland and fans react angrily. In a lengthy press release, ESPN announced that it was shutting down its pop-culture blog started by Bill Simmons after four years because the company needs to focus its energy on other projects.
Grantland, the beloved sports and pop-culture blog named after sportswriter Grantland Rice and owned by ESPN, has been dumped, and fans are unhappy about it. On Friday, ESPN issued a press release where they announced that they were suspending the publication of Grantland, which was launched in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons.
Simmons, who was the editor-in-chief, was fired in May 2015 and rapidly moved to HBO where he is working on a series airing in 2016. The heavily-trafficked site contained daily podcasts and articles by well-known writers like Holly Anderson, Katie Baker, Bill Barnwell, and contribution from former NBA player Jalen Rose.
The reason for getting rid of Grantland is not clear, ESPN stated:
After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.
Some reports claimed that ESPN was losing money with the website, while others speculate the scandal caused by the article written by Caleb Hannan in which he mocked transgender pro golfer Essay Anne Vanderbilt assured its demise.
It is believed that some of the writers and podcasters from Grantland will be moving to The Undefeated, a new ESPN site that will focus on sports. There is one piece of good news for Grantland fans, all of the site’s content will be archived on ESPN’s website.
Bill Simmons (and countless fans) took to Twitter to slam the decision by saying it was “simply appalling.”
I loved everyone I worked with at G and loved what we built. Watching good/kind/talented people get treated so callously = simply appalling.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 30, 2015
Today is worse without Grantland; the void is acute. Working there changed my life and I'm sad waking up this morning without.
— Juliet Litman (@julietlitman) November 2, 2015
Getting caught up on the Grantland story. It's a lot of sad, a little infuriating but mostly inspiring. Good luck to its great contributors
— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) October 31, 2015
Today's Grantland homepage. I hope fans will visit; there's lots of great reading about how things were, 2011-15. pic.twitter.com/MVmOgyFJbK
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) October 31, 2015
@SportsCenter Grantland didn't have to die for this
— Drew (@AndruwVinci) October 31, 2015
We can hold these truths in tension: Grantland materially harmed trans women, *and* its closure is a sad day for sports writing.
— Katherine Cross (@Quinnae_Moon) October 30, 2015