There is unrest at The Ringer following remarks by two of the site's most high-profile voices on the Bill Simmons podcast that was uploaded to the Internet on Monday. On an episode entitled, "A Truly Sad Week in America, Plus the 2005 NBA Redraftables With Ryen Russillo," Simmons was joined by Ryen Russillo to discuss the protests across America in the wake of George Floyd's death. The discussion did not go over well with co-workers.
“Look at you, Bill, look at the people you’ve hired, look at the company that you’ve started, look at the jobs and opportunities that you’ve given a diverse group, which I know you’re always looking to do,” he said. “I’m not bulls--tting, I’m not kissing up to you here. These are facts. You have tried for a very long time to make sure your hiring is as diverse as possible. And you’ve done these things.”
The Ringer Union, and at least one employee, disputed that on Twitter. Maybe coincidentally, Russillo also got in a shot at unions during the conversation:
A lot of the police problems are problems we have in hiring and firing everywhere in corporate America because of the union and how much, if you're pro union, fine, but the way the unions protect police where they just kind of get relocated.- Ryen Russillo
It probably shouldn't be a surprise that the Ringer Union responded, saying that the two sides were at a standstill when it came to diversity hiring. The excuses they have apparently been given seem weird.
We’ve been given an array of excuses as to why management cannot commit to more diverse hiring practices, including technical issues and, most recently, privacy concerns.
Simmons responded by having civil rights activist DeRay Mckessen on his next podcast which was released on Wednesday. At the start of the podcast he said that he "misread the moment."