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On Monday, a Barstool employee named Ben Mintz, known as “Mintzy,” caused waves when he rapped the “n-word” on his show. On Wednesday, Barstool President Dave Portnoy said Barstool’s parent company, Penn Entertainment, forced them to fire Mintz.
Mintz was reading rap lyrics off of his phone during his show, “Wake Up With Mintzy,” and said the “n-word” as part of the song.
It doesn’t appear he meant anything by it and his immediate stumbling afterwards indicates he knew he just made a big mistake.
Portnoy confirmed as much on Twitter. Portnoy released a video saying that he tried to save Mintz’s job, but parent company Penn made him fire Mintz.
“He turned white as a ghost,” Portnoy said of Mintz following the lyric reading. “You could tell instantly he [thought] ‘oh my God, what did I do?’ It was like a Ron Burgundy moment.
“He knew he f**ked up. He’s been super apologetic.”
Dave Portnoy claims Penn made him fire Barstool employee because the company feared government retaliation
Portnoy goes on to say that he, along with Barstool CEO Erika Nardini and prominent company figure Dan Katz (Barstool Big Cat), fought for Mintz to keep his job.
However, Penn Entertainment insisted Barstool fire Mintz. According to Portnoy, Penn executives worried about retribution from state governments.
“[Penn] is highly regulated by the government. They’re issued licenses for gambling that — just as easily as they’re issued — they can be pulled back,” Portnoy said.
Portnoy acknowledged that Mintz should not have said the n-word, even as part of a rap lyric, but that firing him is a “punishment that does not fit the crime.”
“It makes my skin crawl thinking a guy would lose [his] job on an innocent mistake,” Portnoy said.
The more interesting part is that Penn feared that state governments could use this as a way to pull their gambling licenses.
The term “free speech” gets thrown around a lot and is, frankly, often misapplied. Employers can fire employees over their speech. The First Amendment protects speech from government retaliation.
But if state governments pulled gambling licenses because of something said on a Barstool show, that feels like a clear violation of the First Amendment.
Of course, the governments would never say that’s why they did it. They know it’s against the law.
But the fact that Penn executives think that was on the table says a lot about where we are as a society.
There’s another possible reason for Mintz’s firing
Perhaps Penn used the government and the licensing excuse to placate Portnoy and Barstool. It’s hard to argue when your parent company says it fears losing the licenses that allow it to operate its business.
Portnoy acknowledged that, too.
“Penn is a multi-billion dollar company. Without their licenses, they are a zero-dollar company,” Portnoy said. “Investors, families, employees, thousands of people [depend on the company]. They feel it’s their job to protect all of this. [And] the only answer is to fire Ben Mintz.”
The other possibility is that Penn used the licenses as an excuse. As mentioned, it is a major corporation.
Corporations today are petrified of the woke cancel mob. A white employee saying the “n-word,” regardless of context or intent, is ripe for an attack.
Penn might just not want to deal with that. “Cancel Mintzy” trended on Twitter this week.
And cancel him they did.
No matter which reason is the true reason — and it could be a little column a and a little column b — neither is a good sign.
Either the government retaliates against companies for speech they don’t like or this is another example of a corporation bending the knee to the woke cancel mob.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
3 CommentsLeave a Reply
You should 100% hire Mintzy. Let’s see if FOX influences your hiring. Guy is a scream, an expert on all things southern and the SEC.
What’s the word on Tucker, Outkick…quit ignoring the story.
Corporations and the government are such cowards. A “word” said can lead to someone losing their job. Wow. I wonder if “Honkey” or “Cracker” being uttered would cause someone to lose their employment. Nah.