- Barstool Sports’ new owners Penn Entertainment axed Mintz for rapping the n-word during a live stream
- Barstool’s founder Dave Portnoy pleaded to let Mintz stay but Penn was firm on its decision
- Mintz, who is also a poker player, started working for Barstool in 2020
American Poker player Ben Mintz is no longer part of Barstool Sports. The company has formally cut ties with the former Cracking Aces co-host after he was caught on camera singing rap lyrics with the n-word.
The incident happened during a live stream this week after which he immediately issued an apology.
The new owners of Barstool Sports, Penn Entertainment, decided to axe Mintz, much to the disappointment of the company’s founder, Dave Portnoy. Mintz is a popular figure in the poker world. He has more than $620,000 in live tournament earnings, according to his Hendon Mob profile.
Portnoy Not Happy with Mintz’s Firing
Shortly after Mintz was fired from Barstool, Portnoy hosted an “Emergency Press Conference” on Twitter to explain what happened. Portnoy wanted Mintz to stay but since he no longer has control of the digital platform he founded after it was fully acquired by Penn Entertainment in February this year, he doesn’t have much of an influence on any decisions made by the board.
Emergency Press Conference – Ben Mintz Has Left the Building pic.twitter.com/31faJrI6Op
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) May 3, 2023
According to Portnoy, Penn’s board demanded the termination of Mintz’s employment with Barstool Sports over the controversial video, despite Portnoy and the company’s CEO Erika Nardini pleading to let him stay.
Mintz’s Supporters Put the Blame on Portnoy
The firing of Mintz sparked outrage among both the Barstool and poker communities, and his supporters were quick to point their fingers at Portnoy for what happened. Barstool fans, known as the “Stoolies”, were frustrated that Portnoy couldn’t do anything to save Mintz and that’s mainly because he is no longer the owner of the company.
Portnoy founded Barstool Sports in 2003 as a sports newspaper. After gaining traction, it expanded to a sports and popular culture blog. In 2020, Portnoy sold 36% of the company to Penn for $163 million. In February, the gambling brand gained full ownership of Barstool under a $388 million deal, which means Portnoy no longer has a say in the company’s day-to-day operations.
Mintz is a sports enthusiast known for his bright and bubbly personality. Portnoy hired Mintz in 2020 after he saw a viral video of Mintz cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels during a football match. Mintz was working at ESPN Baton Rouge when he was offered a job at Barstool Sports.