NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denied Barstool Sports Founder and President Dave Portnoy his award for winning an NFL-organized charity auction last week. Portnoy announced Friday the long-time Barstool adversary had rescinded his invitation because of claims that Portnoy didn’t pass a background check.
Portnoy’s bid of $250,000 in an auction benefiting coronavirus relief won him the chance to watch Monday night football with Goodell in his home, as well as two regular-season NFL game tickets. Two weeks after winning, Portnoy reported on social media that the NFL had since withdrawn those opportunities after researching his background.
Portnoy ranted about the situation in one of his well-known “emergency press conference” videos on Instagram and Twitter.
“We knew it was going to happen,” Portnoy said. “You have cowards, you have mega cowards, and then you have Roger Goodell. Don’t let me win it and come up with this ‘oh you did the research on me?’ You don’t have to do the research on me. You have a file on me the size of Niagara.”
Emergency Press Conference – Goodell is a coward. Hates charity. Hates kids. pic.twitter.com/dzXW7CZ6zB
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) May 29, 2020
In refusing Portnoy’s donation, Goodell is furthering a feud that traces back to the NFL’s “Deflategate” controversy in 2015. As an avid fan of the Patriots and Tom Brady, Portnoy disagreed with Goodell’s suspension of Brady. Barstool Sports has been unable to receive NFL media credentials since then, and Portnoy and other Barstool employees have been escorted out of multiple NFL events, including Super Bowl LII, for using fake passes.
In reading the list of the incidents that the NFL provided as problems in the background check, in his video, the NFL cited his actions at Super Bowl LII and his sit-in protest over Tom Brady’s 2015 suspension as among those responsible.
Furthermore, Portnoy has shamelessly used his platform to criticize Goodell for other things over the years. In addition to being the subject of frequent mockery on various Barstool podcasts, Goodell is also the face of Barstool merchandise. Portnoy distributed almost 70,000 towels featuring Goodell’s face with a clown nose at a Patriots game and continues to sell t-shirts with the same image on it today.
“I’ve told everybody…He’s a yes man, he’s a puppet, and he’s a coward, and this proves it,” he said in the emergency press conference.
Before the NFL rescinded their offer, Portnoy announced in a May 11 video his plans to use the one-on-one meeting with Goodell to grill him on how he’s handled NFL issues over the years, while sporting his clown shirt of course.
“You know I have four hours with him, so I will have a binder. I will walk in and have every question,” Portnoy said. “Roger Goodell has never been asked a real question. He surrounds himself with yes men and they throw him softball questions, so I will hit him with every question that basically every fan has ever wanted to ask him.”
The NFL won’t charge Portnoy but will donate the same amount of $250,000 to the same six non-profit organizations and will choose a front-line worker to receive the tickets and the opportunity to watch football with Goodell.
Allison Schuster is an intern at The Federalist and is also a rising senior at Hillsdale College working toward a degree in politics and journalism. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonShoeStor.