Dave Portnoy, the no-holds-barred founder of Barstool Sports, is calling out a reporter who he said lied about him mocking Denna Laing, an NWHL player with the Boston Pride whose career was ended after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in 2015.
Marisa Ingemi made the claim in an article published on the Vice website:
On Tuesday night, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted a video riddled with inaccuracies and mocking the devastating, career-ending injury suffered by Denna Laing in the league’s first season of the league in 2015. (The NWHL honors Laing every year with an award, and her number is retired by the Boston Pride.) Portnoy also expressed a desire for Tinker [Saroya Tinker, a rookie on the Riveters] —who wrote ‘WE, as a league do not want support from ANY openly racist platform’ in a tweet in which she accused Barstool of promoting white supremacy—to be jailed.
Portnoy was quick to point out that Ingemi’s accusations were false.
“I always say when people attack Barstool Sports that they pull things out of context; they make things up,” Portnoy said in a video posted on Wednesday on Twitter. “They lie through their teeth and then when we call them for it they’re nowhere to be found.
“I also say it’s the same group of small writers who are at the genesis of all of these trash hit pieces,” Portnoy said, adding that people have said he should avoid targeting female reporters.
“No, no, no, if you publicly lie, slander, and do everything they do you’re fair game,” Portnoy said. “Sorry.”
Portnoy denied he mocked Laing and said that, in fact, Barstool Sports contributed funds to help her. He also posted a short trailer of a documentary on Laing that the company produced.
Emergency Press Conference – Female Hockey Reporter Continues to Make Up Lies About Us But I’ll Be the Bad Guy For Calling Her Out For It (A 3 part play/thread) pic.twitter.com/qA6QN0zKkl
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) January 27, 2021
The article criticized Barstool readers as well, referring to “the historically xenophobic, racist, and homophobic audience associated with Barstool.”
Ingemi also criticized Erika Nardini, the CEO of Barstool Sports.
“Above all, it falls to Barstool, and to the CEO who’s attempted to ironically own criticisms of her as a token female CEO overseeing a platform built on misogyny and harassment of women by hosting something called Token CEO,” Ingemi wrote, citing her podcast.
“Don’t let these people get away with it,” Portnoy said. “Don’t let them get away with their lies and slander.”
Portnoy said this is not the first time Ingemi has targeted Barstool Sports. He also called out another female sports reporter, Hemal Jhaveri, who has repeatedly slammed the site.
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