‘This is Insanity’: Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy Blasts NYC’s Indoor Dining Restrictions

Dave Portnoy
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One of the most successful private businessmen in all of sports is blasting officials in New York City for gutting the bar and restaurant business with a new coronavirus restriction that suspends indoor dining.

Portnoy let fly with his criticism of the new regulation on Friday afternoon in a viral Twitter video in which he charged city officials with stealing “the right to earn a living.”

“New York City just closed indoor dining,” Portnoy said. “What do they think is gonna happen? What do they think is going to happen to the thousands of restaurants? They’re done! The bar and restaurant industry and small business have been squeezed and squeezed and squeezed. And they’ve tried everything. They’ve been as creative as possible.

“[Small business owners have] been as creative as you can be to save their livelihood, to save what they’ve spent decades of blood, sweat, and tears building,” he explained. “They’ve done whatever. They’ve scratched and clawed, and now a few politicians New York City is like, ‘Eh, you’re done! We’re shutting it down! No indoor dining.’ … It’s insanity. … I can’t believe in this country what I consider the most basic right of them all — the right to earn a living — the right to earn a livelihood is now being stolen.”

Portnoy then charged politicians with “stealing” basic freedoms. The sports entrepreneur then said that “he’d rather die” than have what’s happening to the restaurant business happen to him.

“Basic freedoms they are stealing, and I’m not over-saying it,” he declared. “They are stealing it. And they’re saying they’re protecting us. Let us protect ourselves. You’re not protecting a family that you just destroyed. These people aren’t getting their livelihoods back. … If I start Barstool and I work my d*ck to the bone for a decade and I got right to the point of making it and you pulled the plug without me having a chance, I would rather die.”

Portnoy closed with a grim prognostication for the future of the country.

“This country is never gonna be the same,” he said. “This is it. Walk through New York. Look at the buildings, look at the restaurants. Boards after boards after boards. Out of business. Rent signs. This is because of the way the government has handled it. … There’s no creativity from the government. I don’t know what the answer is. Oh, actually I do: Let people f—ing decide for themselves. If you want to stay home, you’re afraid of corona[virus], stay home. I want to go out. It’s not your place to tell me how to live my life at this point. In this country, politicians are taking away the right to earn a living. It’s that simple and it’s insanity. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s insanity.”


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