Last week was wild for Barstool Sports, most notably their President Dave Portnoy. A 2016 clip from Barstool’s “Rundown” was unearthed and made waves for the company.
Portnoy, along with Barstool staples Kevin “KFC” Clancy and Dan “Big Cat” Katz, were discussing Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest. The old comments caused a sizable reaction both from those outraged and those defending Portnoy.
First Portnoy Video
One of the reasons the Kaepernick clip created such a visceral reaction was Portnoy calling out the "Cancel Culture" craze in society.
“And here’s the thing. I’ve been doing this for two decades,” Portnoy said in a Twitter video responding to the clip and its reaction. “I’ve made fun of every group of people, every race, every creed, every culture. You name it, we’ve made jokes about it.”
He acknowledged there are many Barstool content pieces created throughout the years that would not hold up into today’s culture. “But times change,” Portnoy said. “Sensitivities change. Cultures change. When you’ve been doing it as long as we have, things f**king change.”
Barstool Employees' Reaction
Other Barstool personalities weighed in on Portnoy’s comments on Kaepernick and his Twitter response.
A podcast done by Barstool’s employees of color gave their thoughts on the clip and Portnoy’s reaction. “PFT”, known best for work co-hosting the behemoth Barstool podcast Pardon My Take, published a critical blog.
The Kirk Minihane Show was one of the few Barstool content creators to publicly back Portnoy, KFC, and Big Cat.
After his employees shared their thoughts on the matter, Portnoy again took to social media to lay out his thoughts. He doubled down on his comments being an attempt at humor, but did dive into the issues Barstool employees had with his response.
Portnoy Second Video
“I don’t care what people who don’t know me think about me,” Portnoy said via Twitter. “I care very much about people who do know me and work at Barstool. And if they’re bringing up concerns and issues I’ll always f**king listen.”
Portnoy admitted he did not grasp how minority Barstool employees would view his rant against cancel culture.
“I have to have their backs and be like, ‘Yeah I’m listening,’” Portnoy said on Twitter. "And I want to get better. And I want the next f**king hilarious African American be like, “Yeah I want to go to f**king Barstool.’”
It will be interesting to follow how this week affects Barstool Sports. Portnoy's haters and supporters will always split the vote on him and his company. Whatever your thoughts on Portnoy and Barstool Sports are, they are certainly hard to ignore.
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