Dave Portnoy apologizes to staff after vowing not to ‘bend the knee’ to viral mob over resurfaced remarks – Fox News

Barstool Sports CEO Dave Portnoy offered an apology to his employees over resurfaced remarks he made about Colin Kaepernick after previously vowing he would not "bend the knee" to the viral mob.

On Monday, Portnoy remained defiant in response to "cancel culture" whena 2016 clip from Barstool Sports' "The Rundown" was amplified by critics showingPortnoy comparing the then-San Francisco 49er quarterback to an "ISIS guy" and sayinghe looked "Arabic."

He defended his remarks, insisting it was "literally a joke from 'The Office'," while acknowledging they wouldn't be tasteful today and dismissed his critics who he thought were "haters" who had wanted to get rid of him for years.

However, on Thursday's "emergency press conference," Portnoy struck a drastically different tone with a video message mostly addressing his own staff.

"I really viewed it as pure Barstool haters ... it's more about how much they f---in' hate me. It's the same thing they've been doing for two decades... and I wasn't going to apologize because I knew I was trying to be funny. I wasn't trying to offend. The intent was to make people laugh," Portnoy said. "Here's what happened: unbeknownst to me and something I didn't plan on doing, I alienated a lot of the people who work for me now."


The Barstool Sports CEOexplained that over the years his company has hired more minorities and women, who he said their followers began attacking them over the remarks and stressed how they shouldn't have to "defend" him or working for the company.

"I did a very poor job in that first video making it clear who I believe I was responding to, which is just pure Barstool haters," Portnoy continued. "I don't care what people who don't know me think about me. I care very much about people who do know me and work at Barstool and if they're bringing up concerns and issues, I'll always f---in' listen. And they have been bringing up the issues. They're like, 'You have to admit this is f---in' wrong.'"

"And guess what, I'm listening to what everybody in the room is saying. It's one of the great developments of Barstool. Unlike when I started, I have enough dissentingvoices now where I can listen. And listening to these guys, I want to have their f---in' backs and will learn and I will be f---in' better. I'll never f---in' do that again... I didn't realize how much it affected them, me doing that rant because it hung them out to dry a little bit and that's not what I want to do. I want to have everybody's back who works for me."


He continued, "I should have had their back from the very beginning and be like, Yep,I wish I didn'tf---in' saythat s---, I'm sorry, I said it, I'm sorry itoffended people. I was just trying to be f---in' funny. I can't apologize for my existence, but I can be better and I'm going to be better for those guys... So toall the guys who work for me, I want you to know I have your back and I want this to be a place that you f---in' can be proud of and if you're not this second, we'll get there. We'll f---in' get there because that's who I f---in'am and that's what Barstool Sports should f---in' be."

Former ESPN host Jemele Hill was one of Portnoy's critics who amplified his past remarks about Kaepernick, tweeting "This is terrible, but then again, consider the source."


After retweeting screenshots of Barstool's coverage defending Kaepernick over the years, Portnoy retaliated by retweeting a screenshot from a 2009 tweet written by Hill which was labeled "transphobic" by the Twitter user.

"My fb friends are calling him 'Manny the Tranny'... so inappropriate and hilarious," Hill wrote.

Her tweet was in reference to former MLB playerManny Ramirez's doping scandal, where he used afemale fertility drug as a steroid.


While Hillapologized for the tweet after facing intense backlash, Portnoy took aim at cancel culture.

"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 said in a video message on Monday. "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 decadeand 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!"

Dave Portnoy apologizes to staff after vowing not to 'bend the knee' to viral mob over resurfaced remarks - Fox News

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