Bill Simmons may have even more to apologize for.
After Simmons expressed regret for engaging in a certainly muffled conversation with Ryen Russillo about national protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, the founder and CEO of The Ringer faced violent backlash from his own employees, criticizing diversity. of the company and the hiring process.
“Diversity in the newsroom is essential to cover police brutality and systemic racism, even in the worlds of sport and pop culture. The Ringer has a lot of work to do. ” The Ringer Union sent from your account.
“In 2019, 86% of speakers on The Ringer Podcast Network were white. We have zero black publishers. We have zero black writers assigned full time to NBA or NFL beats. Our union is currently negotiating practices to improve our diversity and inclusion. “
Responding to Russillo’s praise of Simmons for promoting diversity, writer John Gonzalez supported the Ringer Union statement.
“If you heard someone say that The Ringer is a super diverse place, unfortunately that person does not know what they are talking about. We have a long way to go and I hope to get there,” González wrote.
Simmons acknowledged the problem with lack of diversity during a previous podcast with Russillo by inviting civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson to join his show.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about my podcast in general and on this platform, and what I want to do with it in the coming weeks and months,” Simmons said at the start of Wednesday’s podcast. “I think I just misinterpreted the moment on Sunday night, you know, I was trying to do a ‘shoot the s-t’, forget about things like the podcast we would always do on Sundays and the moment was bigger than that .
“I wish we had an expert with us so that we could turn down some questions and try to learn, instead of dealing with the moment as we did.” I apologize for that. Look, I’m 50 years old. I still barely know what I’m doing and I’m still going to make mistakes. I’m not going to pitch a no-hit game yet every step of the way. All I can do is learn from a mistake and try to improve it. “
Russillo has yet to comment on the episode, including his eulogy to Simmons.
“Look at you, Bill, look at the people you’ve hired, look at the company you’ve started,” Russillo said. “Look at the jobs and opportunities it has given a diverse group, which I know you are always looking to do.
“I am not a fool, I am not kissing you here. These are facts. You have tried for a long time to make sure your hiring is as diverse as possible. And you’ve done these things.”