On Thursday, Business Insider published a report about Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy subjecting three young women to violent, humiliating sex. Portnoy then issued a feeble video statement in response in which he did not deny the specific acts the women recounted, which included recording a sex act without warning or permission. While his most craven employees predictably stood by his side, parroting similar talking points, people outside the company, who do not rely on Portnoy for their paychecks, have been far less inclined to rush to his defense.
For example, the executives of the Arizona Bowl, which unveiled Barstool Sports as its new title sponsor in July, are taking a wait-and-see approach. When asked if the Arizona Bowl’s board and staff are reconsidering the partnership with Barstool Sports in light of Business Insider’s reporting, Kym Adair, the executive director for the bowl game, issued the following statement to Defector: “We are aware of the article that came out yesterday. We are closely monitoring the situation and have no further comment at this time.”
That Adair is being so tight-lipped about the partnership is not a surprise. In August, as reported by the Arizona Daily Star, Pima County supervisors voted to withdraw nearly $40,000 in funding for the bowl game, citing Portnoy’s past statements about women and sexual assault, which have been extensively catalogued by numerous news organizations. At the time, Adair defended Barstool in a letter, saying the company had evolved while touting the fact that Barstool has a female CEO. (It’s worth noting that this CEO, Erika Nardini, has yet to make any public statement in support of Portnoy.) Adair did not comment on her past statements about Barstool.