Outside of the incessant bloviating liberal propaganda perpetuated by the worldwide leader of sports, ESPN, Barstool Sports is one of the most controversial sports news companies in America.
Barstool Sports started as a small intimate sports paper and quickly grew into a huge company with a massive audience.
And now Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy just issued an extreme threat to all of his employees.
Journalism is an ever-changing, consistently evolving medium.
The Internet effectively killed newspapers and magazines over the course of the last twenty years. And since the Internet is so enormous and seemingly anybody can start a website nowadays, content became largely free because of the stiff competition.
That resulted in Internet advertisement revenue versus paid subscriptions (some institutions like The Washington Post are still subscription) but it ultimately created the advent of clickbait. This resulted in more television talking heads instead of just reporting on the news. It’s the personalities that drive the revenue. The rest is history.
But occasionally you’ll find really great content like The Ringer – a sports/entertainment website created by former Grantland creator Bill Simmons.
And The Ringer’s staff just announced they would be unionizing.
The staff announced on Monday that they have formed a union with the WGA East. In their letter of intent, Ringer staffers said they want to negotiate with management for improvements in areas such as compensation, benefits, severance, diversity, and the establishment of a 401k program.
On Tuesday, Simmons accepted.
That’s when Barstool Sports owner Dave Portnoy blew a gasket because he’s no fan of Unions (obviously) and threatened his staff if they try to unionize (through several lawyers who reached out to the staff offering to help) then they would be fired immediately.
In the comments section under this post is where the lawyers reached out.
Portnoy replied back to attorney Rafi Letzter, “If you work for [Barstool Sports] and DM this man I will fire you on the spot.”
This is where ethics come into play. In some right-to-work states, the employer can fire you for any reason and, in fact, don’t even have to give you a reason. That’s actually the case in New York, employees are considered to be “at-will,” which means that either employee or employer can terminate the relationship at any time for whatever reason.
And of course, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to get involved. They had a back-and-forth exchange on Twitter over Portnoy’s threat.
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. https://t.co/bU7WlHrp1d— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 13, 2019
Fortunately for Portnoy, Ocasio-Cortez is wrong because of the aforementioned “at-will” employer/employee relationship. So she’ll lose that argument 10 out of 10 times.
But that doesn’t stop the fact that Portnoy seems like a terrible person and an absolutely worse boss.