December 13, 2023 3 min read


Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy Takes a Stance Against Hate Speech

The sportsbook owner and media personality condemned the rise antisemitism on campuses, refusing to hire Harvard, UPenn, and MIT grads

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy recently defended his decision not to hire graduates from certain high-profile universities until their deans and presidents stepped down. His stance was motivated by the frequent outbreaks of antisemitism on campuses following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war and the perceived inaction by university management.

Portnoy Condemned Universities’ Failure To Address Hate Speech

Portnoy’s announcement follows last week’s House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, where representatives of leading US universities failed to take accountability for the rising frequency of antisemitism on campuses. Although the leaders of these institutions likely fear offending their Muslim alumni, their demonstrated unwillingness to take a stance against hate speech and terrorism has caused severe backlash.

While Dave Portnoy remains a controversial media personality, his outspoken attitude and business acumen have earned him a significant following. He was especially critical of the university representative testimonies, posting a damning commentary on his Instagram page. The sportsbook owner has not changed his stance, doubling down by refusing to hire graduates of offending universities.

If you can’t condemn genocide, I don’t care whether we’re talking Jews, Muslims, any group of people, then you don’t deserve to be in a position of power. You got to get out.

Dave Portnoy

The gambling mogul elaborated on his views during an interview with Fox Business, noting that his embargo would remain active until a change of management at Harvard, UPenn, and MIT, combined with active measures to answer the proliferation of hate speech on campuses. Portnoy admitted his decision would not make a substantial difference but invited other business owners to follow his example.

The Barstool Owner Remains One of Gambling’s Top Personalities

Barstool Sports’ embargo notably does not extend to students of Jewish origin who can still apply for positions at the company. Portnoy also noted that graduates from the affected universities hired before this decision would keep their jobs as they were with Barstool long before this newest controversy. 

Despite Portnoy’s outspoken stance, no other casino or online sportsbook operators have followed his example. However, UPenn President Liz Magill’s resignation and rumors of discontent on the Harvard board mean that Portnoy’s demands may come to fruition, although the Barstool owner’s voice was just one of many demanding such action. 

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.

Dave Portnoy

Portnoy remains one of the gambling industry’s most recognizable faces, enjoying a loyal following and many opportunities to share his opinions. His landmark repurchase of Barstool from ESPN for $1 thrust him firmly into the limelight, allowing him to leverage his name and leadership skills to manage Barstool without interference, thus securing his position and bolstering his popularity.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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