Barstool Sports Doubles Down on Non-Apology for Racism Accusations

The sports website posted a podcast with a title that spells out a racial slur

Barstool founder Dave Portnoy looks very tough and not at all like a cokehead version of Arthur the cartoon aardvark
Barstool founder Dave Portnoy looks very tough and not at all like a cokehead version of Arthur the cartoon aardvark
Tom Briglia
By Jack Tien-Dana / July 2, 2020 12:20 pm

Barstool Sports is in hot water after clips surfaced of Dave Portnoy, the website’s founder, rapping the n-word and saying that Colin Kaepernick looks like a terrorist. Even less surprising than Portnoy’s past brushes with racism, though, is his assertion that what he said is very cool and very funny.

“I’m not going to apologize,” Portnoy croaked in a video posted to Twitter. “I’m not going to bend the knee. The thing that people are coming at me for now with Kaepernick is literally like a joke from The Office.”

Huh, I must’ve missed that episode.

Of course, because this is Barstool, a few of the website’s personalities of color congregated for a podcast titled N.I.G.G.E.R (an acronym for Now It’s Gonna Get Extremely Real), in which they addressed Portnoy’s comments. Posted last night, the podcast painted Portnoy as a braying narcissist who ignores the thoughts of others and refuses to acknowledge his own mistakes, even beyond his ploy to turn his employees’ discomfort into monetizable content. 

“I said to Dave, ‘for the people who work here and work for you, we’re kind of offended by it, so when you throw your middle fingers up at the cancel culture, you’re really throwing your middle fingers up at us,’” said Willie Colon, the host of Barstool’s 2Biggs podcast. “And he was like, ‘I hear you, but I have a bigger following than you, I write your checks, and the people who support me and Barstool help me write your checks, so fucking eat a dick.’” 

Still, none of this will make a difference. Portnoy likes to brag that he’s “uncancellable” and he’s unfortunately probably right. For Barstool to get “cancelled,” its audience would have to be offended and upset. Over the years, Barstool and Portnoy have trafficked in all kinds of misogyny and racism, and have been rewarded with money and a huge, cult-like audience that threatens and harasses any critics.

Barstool has a large platform not because they have trenchant sports analysis (they don’t) or are particularly funny (they aren’t), but because they’ve created a safe space for idiots where a white, middle-aged melanoma cluster hating everybody who doesn’t look like him is the height of comedy. The only way Barstool could actually alienate their base would be by having a conscience. 

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