It has been quite a week at Barstool Sports. Over the weekend, old video was unearthed of Dave Portnoy making racist remarks in regards to Colin Kaepernick back in 2016, comparing the quarterback to Osama bin Laden. There was also a clip of Portnoy singing along to a Ja Rule song and using a racial slur. Dan Katz (AKA Big Cat and co-host of Pardon My Take) was seen laughing at the comments in the videos, and Kevin Clancy (AKA KFC Barstool) made similar comments about Kaepernick and the appropriateness of "blackface" at Halloween parties.
On Monday, Portnoy posted a video declaring he could not be "canceled," explained that when a comedy site does comedy as long as Barstool has that some things will look bad in hindsight, and refused to apologize for his past actions. Katz posted a blog apologizing. Clancy also wrote a blog.
Jemele Hill called attention to the video when she tweeted about it, leading to a firestorm of criticism towards Portnoy and Barstool, as well as Barstool fans firing back at Hill and digging up an old tweet of hers mocking transgender people. Willie Colon, former New York Jets lineman and current Barstool employee, gathered the minority employees at Barstool to have a discussion about the recent events and Portnoy's comments on the 2Biggs podcast. The decision to title the episode with the acronym Now It's Gonna Get Extremely Real has drawn intense criticism since the episode went live on Wednesday.
Colon has refused to back down on the decision. Tyler (AKA Trill Withers), one of the participants on the podcast, said that Colon is doing exactly what he believed they were fighting against when they made the episode.
This, in tandem with the rest of the week's news, has resulted in Barstool's minority personalities getting criticized for their decision to work for Portnoy and not speaking out about his comments. Today, PFT Commenter, co-host of Pardon My Take along with Katz, wrote the rare blog criticizing Portnoy and Barstool for the position that the company has put its minority employees in.
PFT acknowledges that Portnoy refuses to apologize because he sees it as conceding to cancel culture, but in the process, has forced his minority employees to choose between accepting the fact that their boss has racist remarks in his past or publicly battling Portnoy:
Put yourself in their shoes- Dave won’t apologize because in his eyes it means giving in to the outrage mob- so now our black colleagues are being held to account for something that had nothing to do with any mistakes they’ve made whatsoever. That’s what I’m concerned about. If Dave doesn’t truly feel sorry then he shouldn’t apologize- but understand that the consequences of that will mean that our black coworkers will have to suffer blame, shame, and embarrassment that they don’t deserve and that’s fucked up.
PFT finished by stating that something has to change at the company, because what has occurred over the last few days is unacceptable.
It’s about being a decent human being and helping out the same people who would have your back if the tables were turned. I don’t know exactly how to fix this short of making Willie Dave’s boss, but I do know that what’s happened over the last 4 days is not going to work in the long-term.
UPDATE: Portnoy posted the below video in response to the events of the last several days.