Feds Probe Barstool Sports For ‘Crazed’ Founder David Portnoy’s Anti-Union Tweet

August 19, 2019by Shant Shahrigian
Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy attends Game Five of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 23, 2018 in Boston, Mass. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/TNS)

A federal agency is probing Barstool Sports for comments its “crazed” founder David Portnoy made threatening to fire any employee who contacted a union supporter, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Barstool Sports… through its crazed president, Dave Portnoy, has threatened to discipline employees on account o(f) Union and/or protected activity,” states a complaint from a group called the Committee to Preserve the Religious Right to Organize, the Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

The complaint calls on Portnoy to tweet an apology and read “an appropriate Notice” to all employees at Barstool, known for its frat-bro take on the world of sports.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reportedly sent a letter to Barstool Sports asking for its response.

Portnoy on Aug. 13 tweeted he would fire any Barstool employee “on the spot” if they contacted science writer and union supporter Rafi Letzter, who had tweeted, “If you work for Barstool and want to have a private chat about the unionization process, how little power your boss has to stop you, and how you can leverage that power to make your life better: my DMs are open.”

If you work for Barstool and want to have a private chat about the unionization process, how little power your boss has to stop you, and how you can leverage that power to make your life better: my DMs are open.

Letzter appeared to be responding to a series of tweets from Portnoy expressing his hatred of unions. One of them linked to a 2015 article in which Portnoy wrote, “I hope and I pray that Barstool employees try to unionize. I can’t tell you how much I want them to unionize. Just so I can smash their little union to smithereens.”

Portnoy’s message drew a rebuke from union-loving Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who tweeted, “If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law &can be sued, in your words, ‘on the spot.’”

NLRB enforces federal law barring employers from retaliating against workers who seek to form unions, the Hollywood Reporter noted.

As of Sunday morning, Portnoy’s Twitter feed didn’t show any direct response to the NLRB probe.

But he bizarrely posted a video of a group of people dancing with the caption, “This is who the unions are fighting for.”

———

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