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#pounditTuesday, October 3, 2023

Dave Portnoy speaks out after Barstool Sports fires personality Ben Mintz

Wednesday marked a big moment in the newer history of Barstool Sports, and it all has to do with an incident involving one of the company’s former personalities.

Barstool Sports personality Ben Mintz aka “Mintzy” was hosting his “Wake up with Mintzy” show. On Monday, he was rapping some lyrics from a song and rapped a lyric that sort of included the N-word, as it involved the version ending in “a” rather than “er.”

That happened on Monday. He immediately apologized and said he was ashamed of what transpired.

“This morning, I made an unforgivable mistake slipping on air while reading a song lyric. I meant no harm & have never felt worse about anything.

“I apologize for my actions. I am truly sorry & ashamed of myself,” Mintzy tweeted.

Apology or not, by Wednesday, Mintzy had been fired by the company.

Longtime Barstool Sports fans were appalled with the decision. Barstool Sports had long stood against cancel culture and would have never fired someone for something like that that was so accidental. In the words of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, the punishment did not fit the crime.

So why was Mintzy fired?

Portnoy shared a video via Twitter Wednesday explaining the situation. He said that Barstool Sports’ parent company, Penn Entertainment, Inc., demanded the firing. Portnoy said that Penn, which is a nationwide casino operator and a publicly-traded company with a $4.66 billion market cap, felt that the story involving Mintzy could put the company’s gambling licenses in jeopardy.

Portnoy said that he, Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini, and longtime company personality Dan Katz, all fought for Mintzy to stay, but he was fired over their protests.

Portnoy sent a followup tweet in which he acknowledged the firing would go against everything Barstool Sports had stood for — standing up to “the man” and not caving to cancel culture.

“By the way for everybody saying Barstool is dead to them I knew this would happen. I said it’s so against everything we stand for that it could be a death blow. Penn understood this. They still did it. That’s how frightened they were of regulators who operate with no impunity,” Portnoy tweeted.

Portnoy also posted another video in which he not only acknowledged that he was a “sellout,” but where he spun being a sellout in a positive light.

Portnoy and Barstool did not want to fire Mintzy for the offense. That’s not how they operate and it goes against their mantra of fighting for the common man. But once they sold the company to Penn, they lost the ability to have the final word on issues such as this one, which in many of their fans’ eyes makes them no different from all the soulless corporations they’ve always hated.

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