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Barstool Sports

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Barstool Sports
Type of site
Owner Peter Chernin
CEO Erika Nardini
Slogan(s) By the common man, For the common man
Alexa rank Decrease2,116 (October 2017)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Optional
Current status Open

Barstool Sports is a satirical[2] sports and men's lifestyle blog founded by Dave Portnoy in Milton, Massachusetts. The site is headquartered in NoMad, New York City.[3][4]


Barstool first launched as a print publication in 2004, which was distributed in the Boston metropolitan area offering gambling advertisements and fantasy sports projections, but later expanded to encompass other topics. It launched on the internet in 2007.[5] In April 2014, AOL announced that they would be airing exclusive online content from Barstool Sports.[6]


On January 7, 2016, Portnoy announced The Chernin Group had purchased a majority stake (51%) of Barstool Sports and the site would be moving its headquarters to New York City. Following the purchase, Portnoy continues to run the site and retain complete creative control over the content.[7]


Chernin Group president of digital Mike Kerns appeared on the inaugural episode of Portnoy's podcast, The Dave Portnoy Show, to discuss the acquisition. During the appearance, Kerns and Portnoy detailed the beginning of their talks, when Kerns was put into contact with Portnoy via a mutual friend in former University of Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen. After an initial phone call, Kerns took a private plane from San Francisco to Boston in order to have dinner with Portnoy, discuss vision for Barstool and the future of the brand, and begin preliminary talks of an acquisition.[8]


Following the acquisition, and as a result of no longer being the majority owner, Portnoy adopted the title of Chief of Content. Barstool U head writer Keith Markovich, a.k.a. KMarko, was also announced as the sites' new head editor.[9] On July 19, 2016, Erika Nardini, former chief marketing officer of AOL, was announced as the CEO of Barstool Sports.[10]


During the week of Super Bowl LI, Barstool broadcast a televised version of The Barstool Rundown live from Houston on Comedy Central.[11] The show made headlines on February 2, 2017 after Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee announced during a segment of that night's episode that he was retiring from the NFL to become a contributor to the site.[12] On June 19, 2017, the site announced that Michael Rapaport would be joining Barstool Sports and hosting a podcast.[13]

On October 18, "Barstool Van Talk" debuted on ESPN2. The show starred Pardon My Take personalities PFT Commenter and Dan "Big Cat" Katz.[14] It was cancelled after one episode,[15] with ESPN Inc. president John Skipper citing concerns about distinguishing the content of Barstool from that of ESPN. The show's removal came in the wake of complaints from staff at the network, most notably Samantha Ponder.[16][17]

Charitable work

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, Barstool Sports raised $250,000 for the victims of the attack.

Barstool also frequently raises funds for veterans' causes and animal welfare. In 2015, following the slaying of two NYPD officers, Barstool Sports' NYC representative Kevin Clancy raised $104,000 to help the officers families.[2][18][19]

In April 2017, listeners of the Barstool Podcast, Pardon My Take, raised over $60,000 for the Justin J. Watt Foundation.[20]


David Portnoy has described the site's topics as "sports/smut."[21]


In January 2016, Forbes reported that Barstool Sports was averaging over 8 million unique visitors a month.[22]



In August 2011, the site received criticism over nude photos of American football quarterback Tom Brady's two-year-old son, which was accompanied by comments describing the size of the child's genitalia, which a former prosecutor suggested was sexualization of a minor.[23] Portnoy argued that the comments were meant to be humorous in tone and was not intended to be seen as sexual.[23]

Rape criticism

The site has received repeated criticism over content posted on Barstool Sports that critics of the site allege normalizes rape culture. Comments that have sparked debate include a post on a 2010 blog where Portnoy said "[E]ven 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?"[24] Other elements that have received criticism include comments such as “we don't condone rape of any kind at our Blackout Parties ... however if a chick passes out that's a gray area”.[25] Portnoy, in response, has stated that, “...It’s not our intent, with jokes, to poke fun at rape victims," while pointing out the satirical nature of the site's content.[26] A Northeastern University protest group called Knockout Barstool held a demonstration outside of a 2012 Blackout party at Boston's House of Blues.[27] Portnoy has been openly dismissive of the protest group and has accused them of being serial protesters.[24][25][28]

Blackout parties

The Blackout Tour parties have been criticized for promoting excessive drinking and allowing underage drinking, as well as for assaults that have occurred at the proceedings.[29] On February 2012, then–Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino expressed concern through a spokesperson over the parties' promotion of "excessive drinking to the point of blacking out" and that such promotion would not be a good message for the city.[29] Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission agents and club security at a House of Blues event in Boston the following month confiscated 300 fake identifications and refused admission for around three-fourths of the event's 2000 ticket holders.[30] Shortly thereafter Portnoy announced that the company would not be scheduling more of the events in Boston, stating that "it just doesn’t seem like Boston is friendly to nightlife of our sort, at least”.[30]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa. Alexa Internet Inc. Archived from the original on February 11, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Running Strong: How Barstool Sports helped bombing victim". Comcast SportsNet New England. April 18, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Barstool Sports Relocating Boston HQ to Full Floor in NoMad Building". Commercial Observer. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  4. ^ Downey, Amy J. (December 2010). "David Portnoy Profile: Is This Really Boston's Next Media Mogul?". Boston Magazine. Metrocorp, Inc. 
  5. ^ Ankeny, Jason (December 13, 2013). "The Man Behind the 'Bible of Bro Culture'". Entrepreneur. 
  6. ^ "Barstool Sports to air exclusive content on". AOL. April 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Chernin Group Is Taking a Majority Stake In Controversial Website Barstool Sports". Re/code. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  8. ^ Portnoy, Dave. "The Dave Portnoy Show". Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  9. ^ "How To Join The Barstool Writing Dream Team". Barstool Sports. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  10. ^ "Barstool Sports Names New CEO and It's Not Who You'd Expect". Fortune. July 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ "NFL pulls credentials from Barstool Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-01. 
  12. ^ "Pat McAfee retires from NFL to join Barstool Sports". Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  13. ^ Sports, Barstool. "Things Are About To Get Even Funnier At Barstool Sports… Michael Rapaport Joins Barstool Sports As Newest Personality". Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  14. ^ "Barstool Van Talk is ESPN's most bizarre new show in years, but will it last?". Awful Announcing. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-18. 
  15. ^ "ESPN cancels Barstool Van Talk after one episode". Retrieved 2017-10-23. 
  16. ^ "ESPN Cancels ‘Barstool Van Talk,’ Citing Concerns About Barstool Content" from Variety (October 12, 2017)
  17. ^ "ESPN Cancels Barstool Sports TV Show After One Episode" from Deadspin (October 23, 2017)
  18. ^ "'Boston Strong' Merchandise Rushed To Market As Americans Eager To Wear Their Solidarity". Huffington Post. April 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Caitlin Dewey of the Washington Post Takes a Cheap Shot at the Stool For Outing the Duke Pornstar or Something". February 28, 2014. 
  20. ^ "J.J. Watt to deliver on bet". Retrieved 2017-07-18. 
  21. ^ Baker, Billy (June 3, 2011). "Here, a hangout for trash talking". The Boston Globe. 
  22. ^ Reimer, Alex. "Barstool Sports Founder David Portnoy Says His Website Isn't Sexist". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  23. ^ a b Stevens, Carl (August 12, 2011). "Barstool founder defends posting naked photos of Tom Brady's son". CBS Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Kingkade, Tyler (March 27, 2012). "Barstool Sports rape 'joke' sparks blackout party backlash". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "Editorial: Knockout Barstool – When college humor goes too far". The New Hampshire. University of New Hampshire. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Barstool podium". The Boston Globe. February 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ Dobbs, Taylor (February 3, 2012). "Knockout group protests Barstool party". The Huntington News. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  28. ^ Kagan, Aaron (March 30, 2012). "Controversial 'Blackout Parties' Flee Boston". Eater Boston. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ a b Wedge, Dave (February 9, 2012). "Mayor Menino not taking 'blackout' bashes lightly". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ a b Zaremba, John (March 29, 2012). "Barstool "Blackout" parties leaving Boston, founder says". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 

External links