Barstool Sports Responds to ESPN: You Knew Who You Were Getting Into Business With


The president of Barstool Sports, David "El Pres" Portnoy, held an emergency press conference on Monday after ESPN ended its partnership with the website after one episode of its new show "Barstool Van Talk."

During the eight-minute conference, Portnoy addressed Monday's announcement from ESPN, a damaging tweet from ESPN host Samantha Ponder tweet and the culture differences between barstool and the network.

"The pressure basically that they got, internally primarily, [from] the Sam Ponder tweet was too much for them to overcome," Portnoy said.

Ponder, host of  "Sunday NFL Countdown," tweeted a picture on Monday of a Barstool blog post from 2014, specifically targeting the type of language that was used to criticize her. The Barstool president addressed the style of criticism he has directed at ESPN in the past.

"I have said far more aggressive things, far more offending things, far more over the top things, about all their guys, NFL guys, guys," Portnoy added. "I showed up, I’ve mocked these people, I’ve heckled these people."

"We make fun of everybody," Portnoy added.

As for Ponder's tweet, he said he "doesn’t understand the move," but respects it.

"It was a grudging move," Portnoy said. "As a guy who loves to hold a grudge, it's thought to be like ‘whoa, this girl waited for three years to drop it the day before the show airs.' Gotta tip your hat and move on."

As for the cultural clashes between the two companies, Portnoy said ESPN gave in to a "vocal minority," whereas Barstool doesn’t let "PC America" get the best of them.

"For 15 years, people who have followed the company know, we just talk, shoot the shit, try to be funny, don't let PC America get the best of us. We will continue to do that. That's why ESPN had to turn to us," Portnoy said. "We're not going to let Mickey Mouse push us around."

Portnoy continued to express confidence in the future of Barstool, and in the content it provides to its followers.

"John Skipper saying he could ‘distance himself from Barstool,' don't know what that means, you hired Barstool, the deal was with Barstool. The reason you needed us was because that we're Barstool," Portnoy said of comments made by the ESPN president.

"ESPN, how stupid were you to think you could get Barstool without getting Barstool? We have not changed." Portnoy said mockingly.

The Barstool president said ESPN knew who it was getting into business with, and that Barstool hadn't changed.

"ESPN had to know who they were getting in business with. We didn't change. We’ve been the same people for 15 years," Portnoy said.

Ultimately, Portnoy said the network's decision only illustrates why it is "falling" and Barstool Sports is "rising."

"ESPN needs us more than we needed them," Portnoy said.

Charles Russell

Charles Russell   Email Charles | Full Bio | RSS
Charles Russell is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. Before joining the Beacon he worked at America Rising and has spent several years on multiple campaigns. Charles can be reached at, his twitter handle is @charleswrussell.

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