Dave Portnoy Shares 23 Back-And-Forth Messages With New York Times Writer Who Claimed He Did Not Reply For Comment


Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy shared direct messages he had exchanged with New York Times writer Emily Steel after she wrote an article about his gambling past and claimed he did not return comment.

Portnoy started Barstool Sports in Boston in 2003 as a daily newsletter he would hand out to commuters. He turned the small newsletters into a blog company that hosts dozens of podcasts and shows. In 2020 Portnoy sold 36 percent of Barstool Sports to Penn Entertainment, and in 2022 Penn Entertainment bought the rest of the shares for $387 million.

Steel wrote a story in the Times about Portnoy’s past gambling debts and how he had to file for bankruptcy at 26 because of his gambling losses. Steel claimed Portnoy had no interest in commenting on the story she wrote about him.

“Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages,” Steel wrote. “Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.”

In the Times article, the only quote they had from Portnoy was, “You have so many factual inaccuracies it’s actually laughable. It’s below me to even dignify this hatchet job with a response.”

After the story was published on Sunday, Portnoy responded with his lengthy back-and-forth with Steel that lasted over seven months via Twitter direct message.

On May 10th, Portnoy reached out to Steel and tried to set up a meeting with her about the story she was writing about him, and he wanted the meeting to be videotaped and recorded. On May 23rd, Steel reached out to Portnoy and said she was “eager” to get an interview, but he quickly objected because two weeks had gone by with no contact.

On Sunday, Steel reached out to Portnoy as a reminder to get his comment about the story by the end of the day. Portnoy refused to comment through email and wanted to meet in person.

“I saw it. You have so many factual inaccuracies it’s actually laughable,” Portnoy wrote. “It almost seems like you need me to fact check your own hit piece on me, which I won’t do. I offered you the chance to sit down with me 6 months ago. You said you were ‘eager’ to do so and would set it up. That was 1st of many lies you told. So sorry that I’m not gonna do your job and tell you all the facts you got wrong. It’s below me to even dignify this hatchet job with a response. You are exactly who I knew you were.”

After Steel offered to meet in New York, Portnoy countered and wanted both audio and video for the interview. He also wanted Steel to travel to Flordia for the sit-down because he was in Miami. Steel declined the chance to use video, and she would not accept the terms Portnoy provided.

Portnoy had had enough of his conversation with Steel.

“Why not Emily?” Portnoy wrote back. “Why are you so afraid to mutually record audio and video? Ask yourself that. For almost a year since I found out you were digging in all aspects of my life I’ve asked you to sit down with me and to set the record straight. You said you were ‘eager’ to speak with me. So eager that I didn’t hear from you for 7 months. Then you magically re-appear after your hit piece (which has switched premises 4 times) is done and now you want a response to every allegation you have made in 72 hours. Most of which are wildly inaccurate and seem sourced from a gossip rag or the countless haters you interviewed. Again I’ve been generous with my time and willingness to sit down with you but you have a problem going on the record with me. That says all that needs to be said. I’m done with you.”

Watch above via @stoolpresidente on Twitter.

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