Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has been vehemently defending himself since a Business Insider takedown attempt was published last week. On Thursday, Portnoy addressed the allegations against him via a lengthy live video stream posted on social media.
In the Business Insider piece (which is paywalled and was used as a tool to try and sign up subscribers), Portnoy is accused of humiliating and having rough sex with two young women in separate incidents.
One of the women, a 20-year-old who is referred to as “Madison” in the story, says she connected with Portnoy over social media. Portnoy eventually bought her a plane ticket and invited her to his home in Nantucket, Mass.
The woman told BI she had a “traumatic experience” that ended with her sleeping on Portnoy’s couch for two nights before she flew home.
The woman told BI she “kept trying to get away” from Portnoy while the two were having sex and that he said “stop running away from me” and refused to stop. Portnoy has adamantly denied those allegations. However, Portnoy stated that the woman in question indeed slept on his couch. But Portnoy says the woman slept on his couch due to an argument the two had over their differing views on life, not because of sex issues.
Portnoy expounded on the matter Thursday during his Twitter Live session. The Barstool Sports founder also shared what he believes is proof that the woman had an axe to grind against him due to her political stance.
Portnoy received attention in July 2020 for a highly-publicized interview he conducted with Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Portnoy says the interview occurred three days after his interaction with Madison.
In his Thursday live session, Portnoy stated his belief that Madison became furious to learn that Portnoy was not radically anti-Trump the way she was.
“People think I’m like some crazy Trump guy. I am not,” Portnoy stated on Thursday. “I don’t like either extreme. This girl was extreme, extreme, extreme, extreme (politically). … I wasn’t gonna get into the politics of it. I didn’t want to bring that into it, but that is why we did not agree.”
Portnoy described his conversation that led to the woman sleeping on his couch as “vicious.”
“It was a vicious conversation, and we did not like each other after [our political conversation],” Portnoy contended Thursday.
These aren’t just Portnoy’s personal views on the matter, either. He shared past tweets from the woman that support his claim.
Portnoy says his interview with Trump was three days after he had sex with Madison. In one Instagram post, the woman shared a photo of Portnoy and Trump together and wrote, “Ok. Not my proudest f—.”
In a second Instagram post, the woman criticized Portnoy and threatened to expose him “if he ever truly pisses me off.”
“Portnoy was a d— and lame and grumpy. He gets a 2/10 from me. If he ever truly pis-es me off I have lots of content to expose him with. I am going to stick to the athletes,” the woman wrote.
During his live session, Portnoy shared screenshots of the woman’s Instagram posts, though he blurred out her username.
Madison also responded to a tweet where Portnoy bragged about his net worth being $118 million. She replied “Venmo” and listed what was presumably her Venmo account name. She seemed to be implying that Portnoy should send her money.
Business Insider omitted all of this context from its hit piece on the Barstool Sports founder.
A good portion of BI’s story was regurgitated criticisms of Barstool Sports published in other media outlets over the years. Then the majority of the remaining portions of BI’s article stemmed from Madison’s issues with Portnoy.
Since BI published its hit piece on Portnoy, which they have used to run ads on Twitter in hopes of gaining subscribers, Portnoy has pointed out other significant issues with the outlet’s takedown attempt.
Portnoy posted screenshots of messages he received from women who warned him about the author of the story contacting them. The women shared with Portnoy that the writer of the BI piece, Julia Black, seemed to have an agenda and was hunting for people who would bad-mouth Portnoy.
Portnoy shared that he believes Black was biased against him, already arrived at the conclusion that he was terrible, and that she worked backwards from there, looking for any sort of evidence that would support her takedown attempt. He noted that Nantucket police said Black did not contact them to verify a claim she included in her story.
Since the story’s publication, Portnoy has questioned other ethical/journalistic issues involving Business Insider’s dealings.
Portnoy pointed out that there was unusual trading activity involving his company’s publicly-traded stock (symbol: PENN) the day the story came out (which also coincided with the day Penn National Gaming reported its quarterly earnings). Portnoy shared speculation that either those at Business Insider who knew the outlet was about to publish a takedown piece against him either profited themselves, or shared information with other people, who then placed stock bets against PENN that paid off when the stock dropped around 20 percent the day the piece was published. (Note: the stock may have dropped due to a combination of the company’s earnings report and the publication of the takedown story.)
Portnoy pointed out that Business Insider’s CEO has been found guilty of securities violations and banned from the securities industry.
Portnoy also alleged that Business Insider was proactively alerting Barstool Sports advertisers that they were working on a follow-up piece on Barstool. Portnoy believes that was Business Insider’s attempt to get advertisers to “cancel” Barstool.
The full video of Portnoy defending himself is below.
Disclosure: Steve DelVecchio and Larry Brown own shares of PENN stock.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy recently claimed his company has had discussions with “major leagues” about broadcasting games, and he may have been referring to Major League Baseball.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported on Monday that Barstool Sports and MLB have had “significant negotiations” about broadcasting games during the week on the website’s various platforms. The partnership, if it comes together, could potentially have an emphasis on in-game gambling.
It does not sound like MLB and Barstool are all that close to a deal, as one source told Marchand an agreement is “50-50” to happen at this point. Both organizations declined to comment.
MLB currently has national TV broadcasting rights deals with ESPN, FOX and Turner. ESPN has dropped regular, non-exclusive Monday and Wednesday games from its next contract with MLB, which begins next year. That is where Barstool and/or other companies could come in. YouTube and Peacock are other possibilities.
As Marchand notes, Barstool could sell MLB on having direct access to a younger demographic, which the league has had trouble reaching in recent years. Incorporating in-game gambling would definitely increase interest in regular season contests.
Barstool’s parent company is Penn National Gaming. The company has opened several Barstool Sportsbooks, with several more planned as more states legalize sports betting.
Portnoy is a marketing genius, even if Barstool has been at the center of numerous controversies over the years. He was briefly suspended from Twitter earlier this year and immediately began trending for it. While MLB would probably face some backlash if it partnered with Barstool, the pros would almost certainly outweigh the cons.
Paul Pierce was fired by ESPN on Monday over a video stream he shared that many considered inappropriate, and Dave Portnoy of Barstool sports is looking to capitalize on the opportunity.
Portnoy immediately began recruiting Pierce when news surfaced that ESPN was parting ways with the former NBA star. The Barstool founder first sent a tweet indicating he wants Pierce to call him.
Then on Tuesday, Portnoy said during his popular “Davey Day Trader” stream that he has reached out to Pierce.
“Listen, Paul Pierce, I’m gonna make a run at Paul Pierce,” Portnoy said. “I’m gonna make a run at his a–. I reached out. Contact has been made. He got fired from ESPN for having strippers and blunts in the background of a livestream. Whatever, I don’t give a f— about that. We’d love to have him.”
There was once a time when people may have laughed at the idea of Pierce taking a job with Barstool Sports, but it is no longer out of the question. Barstool has grown into a massive media and sports gambling company. They have hired some high-profile former athletes, most notably Deion Sanders.
That said, this is not the first time Portnoy has openly fantasized about hiring an NBA legend.
Pierce was fired by ESPN after his live video stream appeared to show him smoking marijuana and surrounded by strippers. He quickly issued a video response (see it here) that made it seem like he is not concerned about the next chapter of his career.
Barstool Sports made its biggest hiring splash in company history this week when it was announced that Deion Sanders is joining the media powerhouse, and founder Dave Portnoy is aiming even higher going forward.
TMZ caught up with Portnoy to discuss the Sanders hire, and Portnoy was asked if he had any other big media personalities in mind that he wants to work with at Barstool. He mentioned Charles Barkley without giving it much thought.
“Charles Barkley is, like, the best ever to do it,” Portnoy said. “He’s a guy who — one of the few — he just slings it on TNT and does a great job. That’s the guy that comes to the top of my list.”
Portnoy also said Barstool found out through their connections that Sanders was a bit unhappy at NFL Network, which is how the opportunity arose.
“He couldn’t shoot from the hip. Deion couldn’t be Deion,” Portnoy said. “As he said, he had 20 seconds to get his point across and had to be (politically correct), so he was looking for a place where he could sling it. We got introduced to him, kind of hit it off, and the rest is history.”
Sanders should be a great fit with Barstool, though it should be noted that not all of their splashy hires have worked out. Former NFL punter Pat McAfee joined Barstool Sports when he retired from playing, but he left the company after the partnership went south. Barstool’s decision to hire actor Michael Rapoport turned out to be a disaster.
Barkley is a staple of one of the most popular shows in sports with TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” so we doubt he has plans to leave. The way he gets into it constantly with people would probably make him perfect for Barstool, though.
Deion Sanders still has his eyes on coaching football, and Barstool Sports’ support of that ambition was a factor in why they were able to land him.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Sanders’ agreement with Barstool comes with a promise from the company that it will support his efforts to find a college football coaching job. This was confirmed by Constance Schwartz, Sanders’ representative.
“You are not wrong on coaching in the future and Barstool is very supportive of that,” Schwartz told Marchand. “He is coaching now, but, as you said in your article yesterday, he still has aspirations to coach at the college level and Barstool is fully on-board for that.”
Sanders has made no secret of his desire to coach a college football team. He openly tried to land the job at his alma mater Florida State and has said he intends to have a job in the sport by 2021. If that works out, Sanders’ stay with Barstool could be a fairly brief one, but the company appears to be comfortable with that scenario.
Deion Sanders parting ways with NFL Network made headlines on Tuesday, but that report was just been a precursor to much bigger news.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported that Sanders was leaving NFL Network. A subsequent report from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand said Sanders was asked to take a pay cut and declined.
Now we know why: Sanders is headed to Barstool Sports.
“Pardon My Take”, which is a Barstool Sports property and the No. 1 sports podcast on Apple Podcasts, announced that Deion Sanders has joined the company. Sanders was a guest on “Pardon My Take” on July 26, two weeks prior to the announcement, and then joined the show again for Wednesday’s episode, where the announcement was made.
Willie Colon, another former NFL player who joined Barstool Sports, hyped the announcement and was excited about it.
“I had no idea when I went on with you guys last time that this would transpire so quickly,” Sanders said on “Pardon My Take”.
According to the announcement on the episode, Sanders will launch his own podcast called “21st and Prime”, do some video work for Barstool Sports, and he will join “Pardon My Take” as an NFL guest on Sunday nights during the football season.
This is an absolutely massive hire for Barstool Sports, and likely the biggest name they have ever had on staff. Sanders immediately raises the profile and credibility of Barstool Sports. Prime can now become even more connected to a young audience.
One thing to keep in mind is that when Barstool has made splashy, big-name hires in the past, it hasn’t always worked out for the long-term. Pat McAfee retired from the NFL to join Barstool Sports, but that partnership fell apart and McAfee left the company. The company’s hire of Michael Rapoport ended up a disaster. Both sides are hoping this works out much better.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy is a genius when it comes to generating publicity, and he is at it again.
Portnoy spent $250,000 to win an NFL charity auction all so he could troll Roger Goodell.
The auction was for “Monday Night Football with the Commissioner in his Fan Cave + 2 tickets to any regular season game.” Yes, that means that Portnoy will be watching a game with the commissioner, a man he has trolled over the years.
Portnoy’s company has sold a T-shirt with Goodell’s face looking like a clown and made it so popular that even a New England Patriots coach wore it. Fans also had towels with Goodell’s clown face on it:
In a video announcing he had won the auction, Portnoy was wearing a hat that said “Fire Goodell” on it and a clown Goodell shirt.
Portnoy and three of his cohorts once got arrested at the NFL headquarters for protesting the league’s handling of Deflategate. Portnoy has been banned by the NFL and was even handcuffed and kicked out of the Super Bowl a year ago. And now he’s won a charity auction for the right to troll Goodell in person and create content for his company.
And if you’re wondering how Portnoy has the money for a stunt like this, his company sold to Penn National Gaming for $450 million earlier this year.
Barstool Sports has continued to steadily grow its media empire since founder Dave Portnoy sold a majority stake of the company nearly three years ago, and it may only be a matter of time before there is such a thing as the Barstool Sports Bowl.
According to a report from Sports Business Journal, Barstool Sports was in the running to sponsor a college bowl game in Mobile, Ala., this year. A deal was actually agreed upon, but Lending Tree ended up securing the sponsorship in part because of “pressure” from the NCAA and ESPN.
Portnoy confirmed the report on Tuesday morning. Not surprisingly, he mocked ESPN for being afraid to “feed the company that is eventually going to eat you.”
ESPN and Barstool have a complicated history, and Portnoy has taken advantage of that by doing what he does best — parlaying a feud into financial gain. ESPN had actually partnered with Barstool two years ago for a TV show, but the agreement was cancelled due to backlash. The deal may have fallen through in large part because of the way Samantha Ponder unloaded on ESPN for working with Barstool.
Barstool is always looking for ways to grow its brand, and that has included sponsoring a NASCAR driver this past season. They’re very good at getting what they want, so we may see the Barstool Sports Bowl before long.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was the top trending topic on Twitter for a large portion of Tuesday, and he got there after being called out by US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over his anti-union stance.
Portnoy has joked (?) many times in the past that he would crush any efforts his employees make to unionize. After the editorial staff of The Ringer announced on Monday that they are unionizing, he reminded his employees that his thoughts on the topic have not changed. In fact, he said any employee of Barstool who explores the possibility of forming a union will be fired.
If you’re familiar with Portnoy and his style, none of this will surprise you. Portnoy is willing to say just about anything if he thinks it will lead to good content, but even he probably never expected a direct response from Ocasio-Cortez.
Things blew up even more from there.
Of course, Portnoy has shown no sign of backing down. When former NHL player Ryan Whitney pointed out that the NHL Players Association helped him and fellow Barstool employee and former NHL’er Paul Bissonnette during their playing careers, Portnoy responded that he will “crush you like a grape.” He also faced angry mobs on Twitter the only way he knows how.
Remember, this is the same Portnoy who happily got arrested at the Super Bowl last year for supporting his hometown New England Patriots. For better or worse, his willingness to take on people like AOC has turned his company into a media juggernaut.
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens is coaching in one of the most important playoff series of his NBA coaching career, but that didn’t stop him from having to answer some very sarcastic and equally entertaining questions on Friday.
Two of the biggest names at Barstool Sports, Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter, took part in Stevens’ media conference call. They may have also been responsible for the call coming to an end, as they asked two absurd questions that Stevens was kind enough to answer.
After the second question, which came about 15 minutes into the conference call, a Celtics media staffer stepped in and ended the call. It’s possible it was scheduled to end anyway, but the LeBron question may have helped accelerate things.
We’ve got to give Stevens credit for actually trying to answer the questions, though we’re not surprised given how humble he has recently shown himself to be. Hopefully he gets a chuckle out of the Barstool antics when he realizes what was going on.