- Barstool Sports’ History
- Barstool Sports’ Controversies
- Barstool Sports’ Future
Barstool Sports has been in the news a lot lately. Here’s a timeline of the most controversial moments in the brand’s history.
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Barstool Sports’ History
Barstool Sports is a digital media company founded by David Portnoy in 2003. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts. Barstool Sports has faced criticism for its content, which is often deemed misogynistic and homophobic. Despite this, the company has continued to grow, and it now boasts a large following of loyal fans.
Founded in 2003
Barstool Sports is a controversial American sports and media brand founded in 2003 by David Portnoy. The company’s website includes various blog-style posts covering sports news and pop culture, as well as videos, podcasts, and merchandise. It has been described as “a fratty, boyish website” with a “bro lifestyle” sensibility.
Over the years, Barstool Sports has come under fire for various reasons, including making light of rape accusations against NFL players, body-shaming female sports reporters, and promoting racism and sexism. Despite this criticism, the brand has continued to grow in popularity, especially among young men.
Dave Portnoy’s acquisition and rebranding of the company in 2014
In early 2014, Portnoy announced he had acquired a majority stake in Barstool Sports from Chernin Group. As part of the acquisition, Portnoy also took over as CEO and President of the company.
In the months following the acquisition, Portnoy began to implement his vision for Barstool Sports. He quickly fired a number of employees, including some of the site’s most popular writers. He also began to change the site’s tone and content, making it edgier and more controversial.
This caused an uproar among some of Barstool Sports’ fans, who accused Portnoy of ruining the site. However, others applauded his decisions, saying that he was simply making the site more true to his own vision.
In any case, there is no denying that Portnoy’s acquisition and rebranding of Barstool Sports has had a profound effect on the company. It remains to be seen how successful his changes will be in the long run, but there is no doubt that he has changed the face of the company forever.
Barstool Sports’ Controversies
Barstool Sports is a controversial media company that was founded in 2003. The company has been embroiled in multiple controversies over the years, including accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Despite the controversies, the company has continued to grow and attract a large following.
The “Stoolgate” scandal of 2014
In 2014, Barstool Sports came under fire following the release of a podcast episode that seemed to promote rape culture. The episode, which has since been deleted, featured then-editor-in-chief David Portnoy and a female contributor discussing how she could avoid getting raped while drunk. The woman, who was a friend of the website, said she was “scared” and “uncomfortable” with the conversation.
After the audio of the podcast was released, Barstool Sports was widely criticized for its casual attitude towards rape culture. In response to the backlash, Portnoy released a statement saying that the conversation was “idiotic” and ” offensive,” and he apologized for any harm that may have been caused. However, he also defended the website’s right to “push boundaries.”
The scandal, which came to be known as “Stoolgate,” resulted in advertisers pulling their support from Barstool Sports and major retailers refusing to sell its merchandise. Despite the backlash, Portnoy has continued to defend the website’s right to be controversial, saying that it is an “equal opportunity offender.”
The “Don’t Buy Barstool” movement of 2017
In early 2017, a movement called “Don’t Buy Barstool” began after Barstool Sports’ president David Portnoy made a series of demeaning remarks about women. The movement collected over 25,000 signatures on a Change.org petition and led to sponsors such as Nike, MLBAM, and DraftKings pulling their ads from the site.
In response, Portnoy released a statement saying: “We at Barstool Sports are in the business of comedy and satire, not hate speech or bigotry… I hope people can see the difference between our brand of comedy and the hateful rhetoric that seems to be all the rage these days.”
The controversy simmered down after a few months, but it reignited in September 2017 when Portnoy made comments seemingly mocking victims of Hurricane Harvey. In response, DraftKings pulled its ads from the site again.
The firing of Kevin Clancy in 2019
In 2019, Barstool Sports came under fire for their treatment of one of their employees, Kevin Clancy. Clancy was the host of the popular podcast “Pardon My Take,” and was let go from the company after he made comments about another podcast host, Dan “Big Cat” Katz’s wife.
This controversy led to many people boycotting Barstool Sports, and caused Clancy to trend on Twitter. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy later released a statement saying that Clancy was not fired for his comments, but rather for his “lack of production.”
Barstool Sports’ Future
Barstool Sports has been a controversial brand since its inception in 2003. The company has been accused of sexism, racism, and homophobia. Despite the criticism, the company has continued to grow and is now one of the most popular sports media brands. Let’s take a look at the company’s history and see where it might be headed in the future.
Portnoy’s sale of a majority stake in the company to Penn National Gaming in 2020
In 2020, Portnoy sold a majority stake in the company to Penn National Gaming in a deal that valued Barstool Sports at $450 million. Penn National Gaming is a casino and racetrack operator. The deal gave Penn National an 36% stake in Barstool Sports, with an option to increase its stake to 50% over the next three years.
The deal was controversial, with some critics arguing that it would lead to Barstool Sports becoming more mainstream and less edgy. Portnoy defended the deal, saying that it would allow the company to continue to grow and expand without compromising its values.
The deal has not had a major impact on the content of Barstool Sports, which has continued to be edgy and controversial. In 2021, the company came under fire for publishing a blog post that was critical of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading expert on the coronavirus pandemic. The blog post led to calls for advertisers to boycott Barstool Sports.
The brand’s continued growth despite controversies
Barstool Sports has been no stranger to controversy since it was founded in 2003, but the brand has continued to grow in popularity despite (or perhaps because of) its edgy content. Here is a timeline of some of the biggest controversies involving Barstool Sports:
-In 2007, Barstool Sports was sued by the NFL for copyright infringement. The site had posted a photo of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady without permission.
-In 2008, Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy was arrested for disorderly conduct after tearing down a sign at Fenway Park.
-In 2009, Portnoy was again arrested, this time for trespassing at Yankee Stadium.
-In 2014, Barstool Sports came under fire for its treatment of women after one of its bloggers posted a photo of a passed out woman with her pants pulled down. The site’s owner responded by saying that “the only thing we advocate here at Barstool is having a good time.”
-In 2015, ESPN personality Erin Andrews sued Barstool Sports for defamation after the site posted an article making fun of her naked video leak scandal. Andrews eventually settled the lawsuit out of court.
-In 2016, Portnoy was accused of making racist and sexist remarks by former employees of the site. Portnoy denied the accusations and said that he is “not a perfect person.”
Despite all these controversies, Barstool Sports continues to be one of the most popular sports media brands in the world.