If you like sports, you probably know Barstool. Even if you don’t, you probably know Barstool as the online home for sports-adjacent bros who are also deeply interested in racism, misogyny and being all-around dicks online.
So this response from the site’s founder, Dave Portnoy, at even the slightest scent that his staffers could form a union, tracked completely. It’s also bordering on illegal!
That charming tweet came after Portnoy taunted the staff of The Ringer, where sports man Bill Simmons is CEO, for announcing they’d unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East. (G/O Media’s editorial teams are also unionized with the WGAE.)
Hey, remember what happened to Gawker? Ha? That’s the joke, I guess! If you want even the bare minimum by way of workplace protections, a malevolent billionaire WILL come and sue you out of existence for publishing something he doesn’t like.
Of course, Portnoy kept going, bragging about how he actually hopes Barstool unionizes, he’d actually be laughing, no, seriously, because then he could “crush” it:
All very, very cool stuff from a very cool dude! But then things actually got funny: My guy caused such a fuss that some heavy hitters in labor got involved:
This was like a drug dealer bragging to the cops about a big score—just the dumbest shit imaginable. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a man so self-involved that he can’t help but peacock about his plans to break the law. One for the ages!
Here’s hoping any organizing effort at Barstool—yes, we want everyone, even our notional enemies, to organize—is free from interference by dickhead managers, and that workers get the recognition and a seat at a table they deserve, and then, I don’t know, figure out what to do with Portnoy. In the meantime, I feel confident saying that basically anyone at G/O Media (myself included!) would be happy to talk to any Barstool staffers about why we love our union and how to get started building your own today.