Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy goes to war; ‘cancel culture is coming for my head … I am ready’

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Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill traded Twitter barbs on Monday over remarks both of them have made in the past, with the former pledging never to “apologize” or back down in the face of the “cancel cops.”

The exchange began with Hill retweeting a post from “Resist Programming,” a Left-wing quasi ‘research’ organization, which unearthed a Barstool Sports segment featuring Portnoy and two co-hosts discussing former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“Colin Kaepernick not standing for the National Anthem has become a huge story,” Portnoy begins in the segment. “So, I’m going to say something that’s racist. I don’t think if you think something and don’t say or act upon it, you could be called a racist.”

“When I heard this story I didn’t read it. I didn’t know why he was staying there. I was like, ‘Oh, he’s an ISIS guy, like that was my original thought,” Portnoy continued.

“He is very confusing. He is very confusing,” another co-host says. “I will give you that.”

“Throw a head wrap on this guy and he’s a terrorist,” Portnoy continued, adding that he “thought maybe he had some terrorist, Arab, Arabic theology. Maybe he was on Palestine’s side or something.”

“That’s dumb, but he is first-team all racial confusion,” the co-host continued. “I don’t know what’s going on there.”

“He has a beard,” Portnoy continued.

“He’s got a Jew fro. He’s got a Jew fro,” a third co-host interjects. He looks like he’ll get a terrorist video.”

“Jew fros. Terrorist beard. Terrorist skin. It’s confusing,” the second co-host adds.

Portnoy goes on to explain that he didn’t know Kaepernick was black, and that when he saw someone he thought was Arabic not standing for the anthem, “I go terrorist right away. … This can’t be held against me. That’s how my brain works.”

In comments with her retweet, Hill noted, “This is terrible, but then again, consider the source.”

Portney responded by tweeting screenshots of Barstool’s hosts defending Kaepernick over the years before retweeting one from Hill in 2009 in which had been labeled “transphobic” by the Twitter user.

“My FB friends are calling him ‘Manny the Tranny’…so inappropriate and hilarious,” Hill wrote.

As that tweet began to go viral, Hill, who contributes to The Atlantic, responded to a user who labeled her the “queen of cancel culture.”

“Let me explain why I kept this tweet up when it was brought to my attention: For context, the tweet was in reference to Manny Ramirez testing positive for the woman’s fertility drug, gonadotropin. It was wholly ignorant, dumb, and offensive. I am ashamed that I was so uneducated about trans issues at the time. I stand with this community firmly today,” she wrote before deleting the tweet in question.

“I kept the tweet up because I welcomed the opportunity to apologize to show growth,” she continued in a follow-up tweet. “See, unlike some people, I’m not defensive about my moments of failure. I learn from them and I own it.”

As for Portnoy, he refused to apologize.

“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,” he wrote.

In a follow-up “emergency press conference” video, Portnoy remarked how the “cancel culture” had gone after several other prominent entertainment stars and “now it’s our turn, you knew it was gonna happen.”

**Warning: Language:

“To be honest, they’ve been comin’ after me for 17 f**king years,” Portnoy continued.

“I’ve been doing this for two decades. I’ve made fun of every group of people, every race, every creed, every culture — you name it, we’ve made jokes about it,” Portnoy added. “So if the No Fun Club, if the cancel culture wants to go back blog by blog, video by video, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade and comb through everything we’ve ever f***in said and done, yeah, you’re gonna find a few jokes that missed the mark, that things if they are said today, you’d be like, ‘How’d they f***in’ say this? What are they, idiots?’

“But times change, sensitivities change, cultures change. When you’ve been doing it as long as we have, things f***in’ change!”

The Barstool Sports CEO added he wouldn’t “bend the knee” for his remarks about Kaepernick. He added that they were “literally a joke from ‘The Office,’” a once-popular sitcom, and how those who now want to cancel him likely “love” the show but “hate” him.

“There isn’t one person I’ve ever worked with, who has worked for me, we’ve done business with, interacted with who will ever back up anything these haters say. Not one, and I’ve worked with thousands and thousands and thousands of people,” Portnoy noted further.

“Instead, they just throw rocks and darts from behind bushes and I turn around like, ‘Do you want to talk about it because I can explain my thought process and defend myself.’ They never do. Nope. They just want to run and hide. Throw darts, run, and hide. Well f**k you.”

“When you’re miserable and dead and f***in’ doing your own thing, in the next decade we’ll still be here doing us. You’ll still be losing sleep about it. That’s just how it goes. You see this mug? Ain’t going anywhere,” he concluded.

Jon Dougherty

Staff Writer

Jon is a staff writer for BizPac Review with 30 years' worth of reporting experience, as well as an author and U.S. Army veteran. He has a BA in political science from Ashford University and an MA in national security studies/intelligence analysis from American Military University.
Jon Dougherty

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