Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy Glad Elon Musk Buying Twitter
Posted on: April 26, 2022, 06:56h.
Last updated on: April 26, 2022, 03:21h.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — the “El Presidente” of the sports betting and pop culture social media empire — is ecstatic that billionaire Elon Musk is taking Twitter private.
Portnoy, 45, appeared on Fox News last night to express his support of Musk buying the online town square for roughly $44 billion.
Portnoy was temporarily suspended from Twitter in November after sharing private emails he exchanged with Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson on the social media platform. The communications came in his defense of the sexual misconduct allegations the media outlet published against him. Portnoy told Tucker Carlson that Twitter is currently arranged to prevent free speech.
(Yes I am arrogantly tanned) pic.twitter.com/i4wwHRteKz
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) April 26, 2022
Business Insider last fall published allegations brought by a woman who claimed Portnoy sexually assaulted her in the summer of 2021. The 20-year-old claimed she initiated a relationship with the Barstool founder online. But when they met at his Nantucket, Mass., home, she claims he acted out on the “rape fantasy” she had told him about online.
Portnoy Supports Musk’s Crusade
Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter is one of the most controversial business deals in recent memory. The SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO says Twitter is the world’s de facto town square, and the social media company’s current leadership is suppressing free speech and opinions the corporate governance disagrees with.
After Twitter’s board of directors unanimously approved Musk’s offer yesterday, the world’s richest person said in a statement that the acquisition is “vital to the future of humanity.”
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spambots, and authenticating all humans.
“Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it,” Musk said.
Portnoy Chimes In
Portnoy likes what he hears. The celebrity became a multimillionaire after Penn National Gaming, in early 2020, announced it would pay $163 million for a 36% stake in Barstool Sports. Portnoy believes his newfound wealth made him an easy target.
You just want an even playing field,” Portnoy told Carlson. “If somebody says something about you, you want the ability to respond.”
Portnoy says that is currently difficult.
There’s people who throw shots at you. And when you respond, they have an army of bots, people who say ‘harassment, harassment’ — and they get you banned. They throw all the arrows. And if you respond in kind once or defend yourself, you get banned,” Portnoy added.
Critics say Musk fully opening up the platform could result in hate speech and incitements of violence.
Portnoy’s Barstool Sports began in 2003 as a print publication in Boston that ran gambling and daily fantasy sports news. Later, the media outlet transitioned online and began amassing a massive social media following on its various university and sports-specific accounts.
After the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting that allowed states to determine their own rules on such gambling, Barstool ventured into the emerging sports betting industry. With sports betting’s primary demographic being millennial males, Penn National saw an opportunity to leverage Barstool’s millions of online followers.
Today, the Barstool Sportsbook is operational in 12 states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, Louisiana, and Arizona.
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