Bill Simmons Criticized for Lack of Diversity at The Ringer

None of the editors at the online publication are Black

Bill Simmons, founder and CEO of The Ringer
Bill Simmons at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in 2015.
Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Praise on a podcast has led to criticism of Bill Simmons from staff members for his diversity hiring practices at The Ringer.

During an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast titled “A Truly Sad Week in America,” Simmons was praised by co-host Ryen Russillo for “the jobs and the opportunities” he has given to a “diverse group.”

Due to the lack of actual diversity at The Ringer, Russillo’s praise of Simmons was mocked and left staff members incredulous. It was also deemed “preposterous” in The New York Daily News.

According to the Ringer Union, which is affiliated with the Writers Guild of America, East and represents about 65 employees, none of the editors at the publication are Black and there are no full-time Black writers covering the NBA and the NFL, leagues that are predominantly filled with African-American players.

The union says it is working to correct those issues and has pledged to hold The Ringer accountable to the statement the outlet released in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Of The Ringer’s 90 employees, there are only six Black editorial staff members, according to the union. Three of them are writers and a fourth Black writer has been hired to cover the NFL starting in July.

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