ESPN dropped a bombshell on Monday afternoon that it will immediately cancel Barstool Van Talk after one episode. Within an hour, Barstool president Dave Portnoy detailed why he believes the show was removed from ESPN.
Portnoy blamed NFL Countdown host Sam Ponder and her series of tweets for the cancellation.
“The pressure they got internally, primarily the Sam Ponder tweet, was too much to overcome,” Portnoy said. “The executives there were put in a box. Sam Ponder, I’m not even really mad at her tweet. That was a grudge move. We attacked her; she waited for three years to drop revenge on our heads the night before. She got accomplished what she wanted to accomplish.”
Ponder’s rant caught headlines last week when she went after Portnoy (and the Barstool brand) for calling her inappropriate names in 2014.
In ESPN’s statement, ESPN president John Skipper said he thought ESPN could distance itself from Barstool’s site and content.
“Don’t know what that means,” Portnoy added. “You hired Barstool; the deal was with Barstool. The reason you needed us is because we’re Barstool. That’s why this audience exists, and it’s not going anywhere.”
Here is what Big Cat had to say after the news was announced:
I'm obviously beyond heartbroken, but if you know me, Hank, and PFT you know we won't stay down from this for long.
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) October 23, 2017