Grantland is a popular sports and pop-culture blog started in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons; it is indirectly associated with ESPN. The site features contributions from Simmons, former NBA star Jalen Rose, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Morris, and many other sports and pop-culture writers. It is named after famed 20th Century sportswriter Grantland Rice.
Along with Simmons, Morris, and Rose, regular contributors to Grantland include: Tom Bissell, Jonah Keri, Justin Halpern, Mark Harris, Chuck Klosterman, the screenwriter Brian Koppelman (Rounders), and the MacArthur Award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead.
Dr. V controversy
An article written by Caleb Hannan and published on the Grantland website in January 2014 received considerable criticism from the transgender community. Hannan's article was about the Oracle GXI golf putter and its creator, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, referred to as Dr. V. It treated Vanderbilt's transgender identity in the same manner as a number of scientific qualifications that Vanderbilt had fraudulently claimed to hold, suggesting that Hannan considered Vanderbilt's gender identity to be untruthful as well. Before the article was published, Vanderbilt committed suicide.
After initially dismissing all criticisms and drawing even more fire, Grantland's editor-in-chief Bill Simmons published a response to the criticism, acknowledging errors made by Grantland and Hannan, including Hannan's outing of Vanderbilt to one of her investors and Grantland's "collective ignorance about the issues facing the transgender community in general, as well as our biggest mistake: not educating ourselves on that front before seriously considering whether to run the piece". A profile of Simmons in Rolling Stone, published in April 2014, lambasted him at length over the Dr. V matter and incorporated criticism from senior ESPN personnel, but also included Simmons' defenses and disagreements with some of the harsher criticisms of the article.
- Levin, Josh (19 January 2014). "Digging Too Deep". Slate.
- Klinger, Lauren; McBride, Kelly. "Lessons learned from Grantland’s tragic story on Dr. V". Poynter.
- Kahrl, Christina (20 January 2014). "What Grantland Got Wrong". Grantland.
- Hannan, Caleb (15 January 2014). "Dr. V’s Magical Putter". Grantland.
- Simmons, Bill (20 January 2014). "The Dr. V Story: A Letter From the Editor". Grantland.
- Tannenbaum, Rob (April 29, 2014). "Bill Simmons' Big Score". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 25, 2014.