Popular ESPN columnist Bill Simmons went off on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on his podcast, saying he did not belief Goodell’s insistence that he was unaware of the contents of the Ray Rice elevator tape.

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“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. And for all these people to pretend they didn’t know is such (expletive). It really is …I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say … Really, please call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you,” Simmons said.

Well, ESPN took Simmons up on his dare and suspended him for three weeks for failing to “operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards.”

On Media Buzz today, Howard Kurtz asked what exactly was Simmons’ offense?

Sure, he pointed out that Goodell may be a liar, but many pundits have done that before. He used offensive language, but it was bleeped, and he has done the same thing in the past.

Kurtz recognized ESPN has a massive contract with the NFL that it wants to protect, but he decided to throw a flag on the sports giant for its handling of the situation.

“Simmons was hired to dish out provocative opinions. That’s why people click. That’s why he’s valuable to ESPN. That’s why he’s a franchise player," Kurtz concluded. "I’ve got to blow the whistle here on ESPN for an absurd penalty.”

Watch the clip from Media Buzz above.

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