Barstool Employee Who Rapped ‘N-Word’ Fired Because Parent Company Penn Feared Government Retaliation
Dan Zaksheke, Outkick, May 3, 2023
On Monday, a Barstool employee named Ben Mintz, known as “Mintzy,” caused waves when he rapped the “n-word” on his show. On Wednesday, Barstool President Dave Portnoy said Barstool’s parent company, Penn Entertainment, forced them to fire Mintz.
Mintz was reading rap lyrics off of his phone during his show, “Wake Up With Mintzy,” and said the “n-word” as part of the song.
It doesn’t appear he meant anything by it and his immediate stumbling afterwards indicates he knew he just made a big mistake.
Portnoy confirmed as much on Twitter. Portnoy released a video saying that he tried to save Mintz’s job, but parent company Penn made him fire Mintz.
“He turned white as a ghost,” Portnoy said of Mintz following the lyric reading. “You could tell instantly he [thought] ‘oh my God, what did I do?’ It was like a Ron Burgundy moment.
“He knew he f**ked up. He’s been super apologetic.”
However, Penn Entertainment insisted Barstool fire Mintz. According to Portnoy, Penn executives worried about retribution from state governments.
“[Penn] is highly regulated by the government. They’re issued licenses for gambling that — just as easily as they’re issued — they can be pulled back,” Portnoy said.
Portnoy acknowledged that Mintz should not have said the n-word, even as part of a rap lyric, but that firing him is a “punishment that does not fit the crime.”
The more interesting part is that Penn feared that state governments could use this as a way to pull their gambling licenses.
“Penn is a multi-billion dollar company. Without their licenses, they are a zero-dollar company,” Portnoy said. “Investors, families, employees, thousands of people [depend on the company]. They feel it’s their job to protect all of this. [And] the only answer is to fire Ben Mintz.”