Popular Barstool Sports host fired for saying N-word while reading song lyrics
A Barstool Sports host lost his job after he recently read the lyrics of a popular rap song on a live broadcast. The host is white, and the lyrics included the N-word.
On Monday, Ben “Mintzy” Mintz, a skilled poker player from Louisiana, went on air for “Cracking Aces,” a Barstool Sports show he frequently co-hosted. During the broadcast, Mintz began rapping “1st of Tha Month,” the 1995 smash hit from Bone Thugz-N-Harmony. Fans often quote lyrics from the song on the first day of the month, as Monday happened to be.
And like many rap songs, “1st of Tha Month” contains the N-word. While rapping along, reading the words from his phone, Mintz uttered the N-word out loud and, according to reports, immediately regretted it. He soon afterward took to Twitter and issued a profuse apology filled with hyperbole. “I made an unforgivable mistake,” he claimed, insisting he had “never felt worse about anything.”
Unfortunately for Mintz, PENN Entertainment, the company that completed its purchase of Barstool Sports from founder Dave Portnoy earlier this year, had little sympathy for Mintz’s apology and forced Barstool to fire him immediately.
Portnoy slammed the decision in a Twitter video, but added that, as the former owner of Barstool, he had no authority to override it. “I’ve been fighting tooth and nail — this is the wrong decision,” he said in a six-minute rant.
“[Mintz] knew he f***ed up,” Portnoy said. “He’s been super apologetic, like in shambles, basically. I think anybody who watched the clip was like, ‘There’s no way he meant to do that.’ He’s just not the brightest bulb to ever come down the pipe. And he just screwed up. And he knew he screwed up. And there was no hatred behind it. No nothing.”
However, Portnoy also explained the situation from PENN’s perspective. Portnoy claimed that, as a gambling company, PENN depends on the cooperation of political leaders to maintain its license to operate in various states, and any perceived black mark on PENN could destroy it.
“PENN’s a multibillion-dollar company. Without their licenses, they are a zero-dollar company,” Portnoy said. “Investors, families, employees, thousands of people — they believe it’s their job to protect all of this, and the only answer is to fire Ben Mintz.”
Portnoy also indicated that many politicians “hate” him personally and would welcome any excuse to harm him. “They f***ing hate me. They hate Barstool. And they look for any lever, any excuse, anything to cause problems for us and pull the licenses,” he continued.
In addition, Portnoy claimed that PENN has a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding “stuff like this,” ostensibly referring to instances of perceived racism. However, it is unclear whether PENN would have been as concerned with the rap lyric if the racial dynamics of the situation were different.
Emergency Press Conference – Ben Mintz Has Left the Building pic.twitter.com/31faJrI6Op
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) May 3, 2023
Many Barstool fans railed against Portnoy, calling him a “sellout” for handing his company off to global corporatists who often conduct business according to woke narratives. Portnoy embraced those criticisms in a separate video. “I sold out,” he confirmed. “You’re just figuring that out? I start a company and I f***ing sold it the f*** out. Made hundreds of millions, made millions for everybody. … Yeah, we sold the f*** out. And that’s what you do when you’re an entrepreneur.”
Mintz, who joined Barstool in 2020, stated on Wednesday that he remains “in good spirits” and that he will soon release a video explaining his side of the story.