Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, defends racist language in resurfaced videos and fights against the “cancel cops” saying,” ‘I’m uncancellable.”
What We Know:
- Resurfaced clips of Portnoy using racist language, including the N-word, in past videos circulated Twitter this weekend by Resist Programming, a Twitter account that posts research reported by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, and The New York Times.
- In Resist Programming’s first post about Barstool and Portnoy, the tweet includes a series of videos edited together in which Portnoy uses a racial slur. In one resurfaced video, Portnoy chants along to Ja Rule’s “Livin’ It Up,” saying, “To all my [slur] I’ve been livin’ it up… It’s going to be hit after hit.” In another, he uses the racial epithet twice in the comic retelling of a story.
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy using the N-Word.
🎥: @BarstoolExpose / #ExposeBarstoolRacists pic.twitter.com/5cDbutMsjI
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) June 25, 2020
- A handful of the clips include Portnoy using racist language in reference to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
- In a 2016 segment about Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem, Portnoy says, “So I’m going to say something that’s racist,” explaining he thought Kaepernick was “an ISIS guy… Throw a head wrap on this guy, he’s a terrorist.” Portnoy adds, “He looks like a Bin Laden. That’s not racist.”
- Barstool’s Kevin “KFC” Clancy comments that Kaepernick is “confusing” because he has a “Jew fro,” “terrorist beard,” and “terrorist skin.” Adding that Kaepernick “is not really that Black… I don’t think he speaks for Black people.”
- Later in that same segment about Kaepernick, Portnoy defends himself, saying, “So when I think an Arab person isn’t standing for the national anthem, I go terrorist right away. This can’t be held against me. This is just how my brain works.”
- In a tweet by Portnoy from August 2016 (which has since been deleted), Portnoy included a picture of Kaepernick and Osama bin Laden side by side with the caption, “Anybody who disagrees with me saying Kaepernick looks like Bin Laden is a moron. #factsonly.”
Some people might think, “Well, Dave Portnoy said those things on his own show he didn’t come to Twitter and post that kind of stuff.” Think again. #ExposeBarstoolRacists #BanBarstool #NASCARDumpBarstool
📲: https://t.co/55bvjv2lr4 pic.twitter.com/bgjLeFueFd
— Resist Programming 🛰 (@RzstProgramming) June 29, 2020
- In a different clip Portnoy posted from that same 2016 segment, he says about Kaepernick, “He just thinks Blacks are people are being treated unfairly, so he’s making a moral stand. Fine, I didn’t know he was Black… I don’t hate him — I hated him a lot more when I thought he was a terrorist.”
- In a 2018 segment, Portnoy recalls how Barstool sales guy Paul Gulczynski went “full blackface” on Halloween as Kevin Garnett with two Black friends. “If you do blackface with two Black guys, and they’re okay with it, you get a pass. You’re allowed to,” Clancy says in response, “You’ve gotta put them on a leash and have them next to you the whole time.”
- The series of tweets gained more attention when The Atlantic contributing writer Jemele Hill tweeted them on Sunday, writing, “This is terrible, but then again, consider the source.”
- Portnoy, in response to Hill on Sunday night, complained, “What’s terrible is altering and cutting up a comedy sites video and giving no other context.” Portnoy also tweeted links to Barstool Sports content that was supportive of Kaepernick. Tweets included links to “Colin Kaepernick Refused to Stand During the Anthem and That’s Ok” and “If You Are Mad That Nike Pulled Their Betsy Ross Flag Sneakers Because Colin Kaepernick Complained About Them Then You Have a Big Dump in Your Pants.”
- Portnoy held an emergency press conference via Twitter on Monday, condemning the idea of “cancel culture” saying that “socially acceptable jokes are always changing, and with a 20-year-old company, jokes of the past are meant to stay in the past.” Portnoy admits he wouldn’t say certain things today because of how sensitivities within American culture have changed. Still, by digging up and using old quotes to criticize Barstool, it doesn’t affect the current discourse.
- Portnoy defended his past “jokes” and statements, saying, “I’m not going to apologize, I’m not going to bend the knee.” He added that “sensitivities change, cultures change. When you’ve been doing it as long as we have, things [expletive] change.”
- Portnoy also took to Twitter to address the “cancel cops” directly. Portnoy tweeted, “Memo to the cancel cops. I knew this was coming before you did. And I’m ready. You don’t cancel me. I cancel you.” In a video posted with the tweet, Portnoy says, “They’ve been trying to cancel me for two decades, I’m uncancellable.” Adding, “I’m big. You’re little. I cancel you. Go cancel Marbles,” referring to YouTube comedian Jenna Marbles, who last week apologized for her past racist videos and said she would stop producing videos for now.
Memo to the cancel cops. I knew this was coming before you did. And I’m ready. You don’t cancel me. I cancel you. #CamNewton #DDTG #SUPERBOWL #FUCKCORONA #stocksonlygoup pic.twitter.com/JmuDQhbzXf
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 29, 2020
Portnoy hasn’t yet specifically responded to the videos in which he used the N-word or joked about blackface.