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In Ingenious PR Stunt, MLB Distracts from Trevor Bauer Investigation with Talks to Partner with Barstool

Unfortunately, this is not satire

H&S Protection Systems, Inc.

Look, we know MLB is prone to bad decisions. But yesterday’s news that Major League Baseball is in talks to partner with Barstool Sports while actively engaged in the sexual assault investigation of Trevor Bauer could lead to a decision that would make the extra-innings man-on-second rule seem like a decision from the Magi.

Why? Well, to put it bluntly, because Barstool is synonymous with racism and misogyny.

For those who don’t know, Barstool Sports is a “sports & pop culture blog” run by the love-child of Greek life and the GOP, Dave Portnoy. Portnoy, who calls himself “El Presidente” despite being 0% Hispanic, is probably the biggest idiot with a degree in education from a college other than Liberty University.

Below is a non-exhaustive (yet exhausting) list of terrible things Portnoy and Barstool employees have done:

  • 2010 Portnoy posts online “even though I never condone rape if you’re a size 6 and you’re wearing skinny jeans you kind of deserve to be raped right?”
  • 2012 “Blackout parties” where women are encouraged to black out from alcohol gain popularity due to promotion by Barstool Sports.
  • 2015 Portnoy and company defends Barstool sales employee Paul Gulczynski for his straight-up blackface Kevin Garnett Halloween costume, saying it was OK because his two black friends gave him “a pass.”
  • 2016 Barstool posts video of a chat with ex-Fox Sports reporter Emily Austen saying super charming things like “I didn’t even know Mexicans were smart,” and “You see, you guys know that the Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class,” and “The way I used to talk to the Jews in Boca. I just didn’t care. They would complain and bitch about everything.”
  • 2017 ESPN cancels its relationship with Barstool after Portnoy calls ESPN Host Samantha Ponder a slut.
  • 2018 Barstool blogger Adam Smith tells Joel Embiid to “Go back to Africa” other Barstool employees publicly creep on underaged women.
  • 2019 Portnoy reaches a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board for illegally threatening to fire Barstool employees if they attempted to unionize.

With MLB making a concerted effort at corporate-social responsibility with actions like donating $150 million to the Players Alliance, hosting the first-ever all-female broadcast, and dedicating one whole webpage to ~diversity~ , ~equity~, and ~inclusion~, the move to partner with Barstool begs the question, “what the hell?”

In all seriousness, partnering with Barstool would be a signal to women and POC fans of baseball that MLB cares more about money and brand recognition than people. It would disappoint and turn off thousands of viewers, which, if not for morality’s sake, would be a really tone-deaf business decision considering MLB viewership among women, Hispanic, and Black fans skyrocketed during the pandemic.

There is no conceivable good that can come out of this partnership. Only a whole lot of bad.

Thus, our message to MLB is simple: DON’T DO THIS.