By Isaac Chandler
January 16, 2020
Barstool is an infamous brand already in the traditional sports scene. The company caused a stir over the years with their wild parties and controversial statements. Now, Barstool is possibly setting its sights on getting more deeply involved in esports, according to a recent interview with CEO David Portnoy.
In a Barstool Radio interview, Portnoy discussed how he had “the opportunity to invest in an esports franchise, one of the big professional leagues that are just starting.” He didn’t clarify which league or even game he was talking about. However, he noted that he isn’t “saying I or Barstool won’t do it.”
He described how the guy pitching him the idea as “people who play these games are gonna be the next-gen athlete. They’re going to have all the money, they’re gonna be cool, it’s going.”
Portnoy noted he didn’t think that would happen. He cited a belief that people are genetically programmed to respect and look-up to the most athletic. He noted stats were proving the pitcher’s points.
Usually a traditional sports outlet getting involved in esports is incredibly exciting. However, the idea of Barstool esports is likely to cause more a sense of concern.
Over the years, the sports news company had wild parties that promoted excessive alcohol consumption and allegedly served drinks to underage attendants. It caused Massachusetts authorities to crack down on their events in Boston in 2012.
There’s also the issue of Portnoy. He commented on concerns about sexual assault at their events. He stated, “Even though I never condone rape if you’re a size 6 and you’re wearing skinny jeans you kind of deserve to be raped right?” In addition to claiming that, while the company doesn’t condone rape at their events, women passed out were “a grey area.”
He claimed these comments were in jest. However, it’s concerning to think someone who makes light of rape could be getting into esports and bringing that culture, which the industry has been trying to crack down on.