An unapologetic Dave Portnoy spoke out about sports and politics in an interview with Ben Shapiro, as the Barstool Sports founder explained why he continues to fight back against detractors.
“Trump broke so many people’s brains, I’m curious to see what the next couple of years are like,” Portnoy told the The Daily Wire, according to a preview clip of an interview set to air Sunday, April 25. “Everybody who complained about a joke we made… if I looked at their Twitter profile, it was political. Underneath what they said about me, it was political, one hundred percent of the time.”
This week, @barstoolsports very own @stoolpresidente joins The Sunday Special with @benshapiro! They discuss Trump Derangement Syndrome, politics in sports, and much more! Watch the full episode this Sunday over at https://t.co/j8GmCPXLgb and Youtube! pic.twitter.com/6xwgd3jPTi
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) April 22, 2021
In the last 12 months, Portnoy has argued with political pundits on social media, interviewed former President Donald Trump at the White House and raised nearly $40 million for small businesses struggling through the global pandemic.
Portnoy notes that the Barstool Sports audience allows him to fight back, and there’s a portion of both the left and right who like their approach. With a fanatical following of Stoolies, the Barstool Sports audience remains larger (and louder) than those who try to cancel the brand.
“People have always asked, ‘Why do you fight back’ or ‘Why do you push back’ or ‘Why don’t you just shut up when someone takes a shot at you that you feel is unfair,’ it’s like, I’m not going to do that,” Portnoy said. “I will never throw the first punch, but if you throw a shot at me on Twitter — out of the clouds — it’s not my responsibility to protect you.”
“Are there jokes I’ve made that I wish I didn’t and are perceived differently now? Of course,” Portnoy continued. “But I’ve been doing this for 20 years, so I’ll go through point, by point by point, everything I’ve ever said and done. I know my character, and our intent has always been to make people laugh.”
Portnoy also discussed the state of professional sports with Shapiro, detailing his lengthy battles with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who he once called “Hitler,” and the reason he believes athletes take a moral stand.
“We can agree morally whether something is right, or a protest is right, but I just don’t buy that with the leagues. They’re doing it, on what they think is best for their bottom line, and that, you know, they’ll find out, in the end, I guess whether it was right,” Portnoy said.