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Grantland screenshot 3 March 2015.jpg
Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Sports, Popular culture
Available in English
Owner ESPN
Launched 2011
Alexa rank
negative increase 1,484 (March 2015)[1]
Current status Suspended

Grantland was a sports and pop-culture blog owned and operated by ESPN.[2] Started in 2011 by veteran writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons, who remained as editor in chief until May 2015, it was named after famed 20th century sportswriter Grantland Rice.

On October 30, 2015, ESPN announced that it was suspending the publication of Grantland.[3]


The site featured contributions from former NBA player Jalen Rose and author Jonah Keri along other sports and pop-culture writers and podcasters including: Holly Anderson, Katie Baker, Bill Barnwell, Rembert Browne, Andy Greenwald, Bryan Curtis, Kirk Goldsberry, Steven Hyden, David Jacoby, Chuck Klosterman, Molly Lambert, Mark Lisanti, Zach Lowe, Robert Mays, Brian Phillips, Charles P. Pierce, Shea Serrano, Andrew Sharp and Mark Titus. Besides Bill Simmons former contributors include Men in Blazers duo Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, Tom Bissell, Lane Brown, author Dave Eggers, author Malcolm Gladwell, Justin Halpern, Mark Harris, Jay Caspian Kang, screenwriter of the movie Rounders Brian Koppelman, Juliet Litman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wesley Morris, Chris Ryan and MacArthur Award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead.

Editor-in-Chief transition[edit]

In May 2015, ESPN's President John Skipper told the New York Times that ESPN would not be renewing Simmons' contract, effectively ending Simmons' tenure at ESPN.[4] Later in the month, Chris Connelly was announced as interim editor-in-chief.[5]

Dr. V controversy[edit]

An article written by Caleb Hannan and published on the Grantland website in January 2014 received considerable criticism from the transgender community.[6][7][8] Hannan's article was about the Oracle GXI golf putter and its creator, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, referred to as Dr. V.[9] 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".[10] 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.[11]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-03-05. 
  2. ^ Crupi, Anthony (2011-06-09). "Bill Simmons on Launch of and How Sponsors Will Keep the Site Free". Adweek. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  3. ^ "ESPN Statement Regarding Grantland". ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  4. ^ Guthrie, Marisa. "ESPN President John Skipper on Bill Simmons: "It Was Business"". Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  5. ^ Chase, Chris. "Bill Simmons will be replaced at Grantland by Chris Connelly". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  6. ^ Levin, Josh (19 January 2014). "Digging Too Deep". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  7. ^ Klinger, Lauren; McBride, Kelly. "Lessons learned from Grantland’s tragic story on Dr. V". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  8. ^ Kahrl, Christina (20 January 2014). "What Grantland Got Wrong". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  9. ^ Hannan, Caleb (15 January 2014). "Dr. V’s Magical Putter". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  10. ^ Simmons, Bill (20 January 2014). "The Dr. V Story: A Letter From the Editor". Retrieved 2015-10-31. 
  11. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (April 29, 2014). "Bill Simmons' Big Score". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-10-31. 

External links[edit]