Dana White: Corporate Overlords At Penn Gaming Will Be To Blame If Barstool Loses Authenticity

Videos by OutKick

Dana White believes that Barstool Sports may have their work cut out with them – not because of the people who work there, but their corporate overlords.

In a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, White lambasted Penn Gaming, which finalized a deal to acquire 100% of Barstool earlier this year.

“Let me tell you what, once you start to get suits involved in your business and these f***ing corporate guys who think know what they’re f***ing doing, and most of them don’t know jack shit,” White told McAfee. “You’re gonna see it with Barstool over the next couple of years too. They’ve came in and they bought it out, they bought [Dave] Portnoy out. I had a situation yesterday with Barstool and it’s turning into a corporate f***ing shit show too. It’s what happens when you get these f***ing suits involved in your business.”

UFC president Dana White says the UFC doesn't do anything woke. (Credit: Getty Images)
Dana White called out PENN Gaming for changing Barstool Sports. (Credit: Getty Images)


It’s unclear what “situation” White is referring to with Penn, but his point still stands. When you bring in executives and people who don’t understand how an entity like Barstool was built, they are undoubtedly going to have a hard time moving forward and staying true to the brand.

White further clarified his remarks after some in the media took it as a direct shot at Barstool and Portnoy, which it was not.


“Basically what I’m saying is when you build a company like Barstool Sports, the way that it was built with a guy like Dave Portnoy, once you get a bunch of suits involved, it just changes the dynamic of the whole thing. Ask Vice how that went,” White told reporters during the season 2 launch of his Power Slap League.

Vice, which used to be one of the premiere next-generation media brands and was valued at over $5.5 billion at one point, filed for bankruptcy last week.


Dana’s completely right here. The reason OutKick, Barstool and honestly only a few other brands have become what they are is because of being real and loyal to the fans out there. When there is so much clutter and misinformation in the world, authenticity matters. And it also doesn’t hurt when there’s humor mixed in as well.

It is quite ironic however that White made his initial comments on the McAfee Show. McAfee just signed a massive deal with ESPN that many believe — including myself — may hurt his brand.

McAfee has become a sports media superstar by shooting from the hip, and embracing the “bro culture” of not taking himself too seriously but also doing as he pleases. He was one of the first to bring Aaron Rodgers on after the whole vaccine fiasco. I’m not so sure that ESPN would have allowed him to do that if he was under contract like he is now.


Dana White is no stranger to confrontation and absolutely loves calling people out, especially the media. During a recent interview with me, he went off on the media telling them that they “know f’n less than nothing!” as well as said every day that he’s “ready to go to war” with all of his haters.

It will be interesting to see what happens Barstool and McAfee’s new deals. Portnoy recently revealed he has 20 months left on his contract and is unsure of his future with Penn.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


Leave a Reply
  1. I find is kind of ludicrous that OUTKICK is posting an article like this when the fingerprints of Paul Ryan are pretty clearly smudged ALL OVER recent articles on OUTKICK.
    I was a 3 year subscriber to The Athletic. I moved my dollars to Outkick when The Athletic became completely woke and more concerned about progressive agendas.
    Since Travis sold to FoxNews, the lean of Outkick has shifted left. I hope the leftward shift ends soon.

    • Yup. Dana White is 100% on Barstool/Penn being on the same path as Vice, but it’s ironic coming from Outkick, which sold to FoxNews. I agree Outkick is not the same as it used to be but disagree in that I don’t think Outkick has made a massive shift to the left. The product before it sold was better. Less content, but better overall product. A lot more click-bait type product. I think Outkick peaked as a product when they brought Whitlock on and had a decent amount of content from both Clay and Jason, along with the anonymous mailbag (which has ceased to exist). Outkick has a much bigger audience now but it’s been corporatized. As a whole the site is definitely right-center and appeals that way. Only leftward shift I see are some writers using “she” or “her” when referring to dudes in womanface. Still one of the better sports related sites out there but with money and suits involved it lost a bit of authenticity.

    • It’s capitalism 101. Build up a brand and sell it for a massive amount of money. That’s typically the path most start-ups follow. In an ideal world, you keep ownership and continue to build slowly but I can’t blame Clay for ringing the register. I’d prolly to the same thing. And of all the potential buyers, hate it or love it, Fox was probably the only one with enough $$ to keep it as close to the original product as possible.

    • I agree. FOX news has started to lean a little left so I guess that’s why Outkick followed suit. Still right of center but some of the new staffers have that slightly liberal nuance to their writing. The old Outkick was better. I miss Whitlock a lot. Paul Ryan is a douche much in the same vein as Romney, Cheney, Kinzinger, Tillis, etc. Deep stater establishment Republicans.

  2. What Dana is describing is the college educated version of a career politician. These guys go to school for 8-12 years, and they focus solely on getting every acronym possible in front of their name to show how smart they are.

    There’s only one problem. They’ve never worked in the real world. Only controlled simulation environments where they’re overlords, woke tenured professors, assure them that what they’ve been taught will lead them to wealth and power beyond all imagination.

    Then they get hired by a corporation who has quotas on said educational acronyms, and they implement what they were taught. And then financial hemorrhaging follows. And someone underneath is blamed. And they lose more money. And this vicious cycle continues until you no longer have a company, or your company is purchased for pennies on the dollar.

    Real life work experience is all that matters. Ivy League suits with no real world experience are worthless. They provide zero insight, except for the false narratives and theories their parents spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on so they could get a high paying job, only to bankrupt their employers.

    Did I miss anything?

Leave a Reply