Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy had a meltdown on Twitter, threatening to fire any employee that wants to try and unionize. The American sports media figure, who has an estimated net worth of $10 million, retweeted to his nearly million followers on Twitter an article about Gawker employees wanting to unionize saying, “Heard @ringer employees want to unionize, Little refresh on how I feel about unions.”
Portnoy’s initial response to employees wanting to unionize in 2015 reads as follows:
“BAHAHA! 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. Nothing would please me more than to break it into a million little pieces. Oh you think you deserve health insurance? You don’t think you should have to work with squirrels in the office? You don’t think I should duct tape Hank to the walls? Well now yis can’t leave! No more free water! No more vacation days! I’m gonna dump rats into the walls! You haven’t seen anything yet! Unionize Nate! Unionize Trent! I dare you! Trent you’ll be back working security at Walmart in a blink of an eye! KFC will be doing my accounting! No more fancy pants weddings! Hank will be an exhibit at the Museum of Science! UNIONIZE I DARE YOU!”
While thousands of users online balked at Portnoy doubling down on his statements in 2019, and took screenshot his tweets as evidence of illegal retaliation against employees lawfully exercising their labor rights, to which Portnoy replied, “Cry about it,” his rant also caught the attention of U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who voiced opposition, and Donald Trump Jr., who had Portnoy’s back.
David Portnoy Challenges AOC to ‘Debate Me’ Over Union Threats
AOC tweeted in an indirect message to Portnoy saying,” 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. ALL workers in the US have the protected freedom to organize for better conditions. See @NLRB & union orgs like @AFLCIO for tips.” Portnoy retweeted the message with a GIF of Bill Murray from the movie Kingpin.
Portnoy again retweeted AOC message writing, “Hey @aoc welcome to thunder dome. Debate me,” and proceeded to make snarky comments at users coming at him with menacing remarks.
Portnoy Threatens to Fire Any Worker Who Speaks to a Lawyer About Unions
The threats kept coming from Portnoy, and after lawyer Matt Weir tweeted to assist any Barstool Sports employees who are looking to unionize he tweeted, “Anybody who hires this lawyer will be fired immediately and I will personally sue you for damages and back wages.”
And to Rafi Lezter, a staff writer at Live Science, who opened up his DMs for Barstool Sports workers looking to leverage their power he wrote, “If you work for @barstoolsports and DM this man I will fire you on the spot.”
Donald Trump Jr. Defends Portnoy
Adding fuel to the Twitter firestorm, Donald Trump Jr. decided to throw himself into the match-up brewing between AOC and Portnoy. The President’s son tweeted, “Picking a fight with @stoolpresidente and @barstoolsports is probably the biggest mistake @AOC has ever made on Twitter.”