Barstool Sports Won’t Hire Harvard, MIT, Penn Alums, Says David Portnoy

Posted on: December 12, 2023, 05:45h. 

Last updated on: December 15, 2023, 10:15h.

Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy said alumni of Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Pennsylvania are persona non grata at his company until the deans of those universities step down. He added that there will be an  exception for Jewish students and that two current Barstool staffers who are Harvard alums are “grandfathered in.”

Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy says his company won’t hire grads from Harvard, MIT, and Penn until the deans of those schools resign. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Portnoy’s comments, which were made on Fox Business on Tuesday, arrived following controversial Congressional testimony last week in which Harvard President Claudine Gay, MIT President Sally Kornbluth, and Penn President Liz Magill each refused to clearly condemn the spate of antisemitism on their campuses following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.

There’s a difference between free speech and hate speech, and when you’re endangering people and causing harm, I think you got to put a stop to it. It’s called common sense,” Portnoy told Fox Business.

Pressed by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to say that recent pro-Hamas protests on their campuses — in which some students have called for the elimination of the Israeli state and the genocide of Jews — constitutes hate speech and endangers Jewish students, the presidents of three of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. danced around the subject, stoking a firestorm of dispute in the process.

In the wake of the hearings, only Magil has stepped down from her post, though reports indicate she’ll remain a tenured member of Penn’s board. Conversely, Harvard faculty and staff rallied around Gay, demanding she remain at the college’s helm even though she cost the school $1 billion in donations and is the subject of swirling allegations she committed plagiarism in some of her academic work.

Portnoy Has Some Support in Gaming Community

To date, no casino or online sportsbook operators have gone as far as Portnoy’s pledge to not hire graduates of the trio of aforementioned schools. But the often outspoken Barstool boss may have some support in the industry.

Dr. Miriam Adelson, the widow of Sheldon Adelson and the largest shareholder in Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), penned a scathing op-ed last month in Israel Hayom, a media publication she owns, proclaiming that Hamas supporters “are dead to us.”

“If you condemn Hamas and then add a ‘but’ followed by condemnation of Israel, you’re dead to us,” she wrote. “If you insist Israel is obligated to seek accommodation with Hamas, an idea you would never have entertained for Western powers that fought the Nazis, al-Qaida, or ISIS, you’re dead to us.”

In an Instagram post, Portnoy had more choice words, encouraging other companies to follow his lead and refuse to offer jobs to Harvard, MIT, and Penn alums.

“At this rate, we’re 1 step away from the Ivy Leagues offering courses on how 9/11 was actually the Jews fault,” he wrote. “Not that this will make a huge difference, but moving forward, I will not hire any student who graduates from any of these schools until these Deans step down.  More businesses should follow this lead.  This is unacceptable on every single level.  I don’t care if you’re Jewish or not either. If you know a Jew or just have a degree of basic human decency, calling for the murder of an entire group of people should outrage you.”

Portnoy Never Shy

Portnoy, who is Jewish, is never reserved about expressing his views on the day’s issues. Earlier this year, he blasted now-defunct Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), saying the bank’s “woke” business model hastened its demise.

In June 2022, he lambasted the Supreme Court following the controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, making abortion an issue to be decided at the state level. As for the situation with the aforementioned university leaders, Portnoy was similarly unreserved.

“The Deans of 3 supposedly prestigious Universities in the United States somehow refusing to condemn students calling for the Genocide of Jews on campus,” he opined on Instagram. “AKA — the murder of all Jews. News flash that is calling for the murder of myself, my parents, and my entire family. And these ‘leaders’ refuse to condemn this as hate speech on their campuses?”