Conservatives are turning on Dave Portnoy after the Barstool Sports founder made numerous criticisms this week of rapper Kanye West.
The outrage began on Tuesday after Portnoy celebrated the decision from shoe manufacturer Adidas to terminate its contract with West over his recent antisemitic remarks.
“Bye bye Kanye….” Portnoy wrote alongside a gif of singer Taylor Swift, who was famously interrupted by West during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
The end of the partnership with Adidas, which Forbes says cost West to lose his billionaire status, came after the rapper boasted on an Oct. 16 podcast that he would never be dropped by the sportswear company.
“I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me,” West said. “Now what?”
In response to Portnoy’s tweet, countless right-wing Twitter users accused the internet celebrity of supporting “cancel culture.”
“[C]elebrating cancel culture as if youre not next down the line is bold,” one user wrote.
Barstool, though ostensibly non-ideological, is firmly cemented on the conservative spectrum of identity. Its fans were forced to choose between Portnoy and West.
Some decided West was where it was at.
More prominent right-wing figures took aim as well. Conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec attempted to accuse Portnoy of hypocrisy by sharing an old tweet in which he sold West-branded merch in his company’s store.
Portnoy responded by calling Posobiec “desperate” before urging him to give the “heil Hitler sign.”
“Also imagine being so desperate to defend Kanye right now that you go back and search my name for decades and find a tshirt we sold 7 years ago as your proof and are like ‘Gotchya,’” he wrote. “Just give the heil Hitler sign buddy and call it a day @JackPosobiec.”
Despite the backlash, Portnoy continued with his protest against West. In a follow-up tweet, Portnoy also made note of his longstanding issues with West, which he says began long before his recent antisemitic comments.
“When I die I want it written on my tombstone that I despised Kanye West long before it was cool to despise Kanye West,” he said. “This dude has gotten a free pass for being one of the worlds great cocksuckers for decades.”
Portnoy, who is Jewish himself, was also met with a barrage of antisemitic comments for his tweets.
The deluge of complaints from right-wing users led Portnoy to eventually point that finger at the current state of U.S. politics.
“By the way the fact that Kanye is being defended along political lines is again EVERYTHING that is wrong with this county. The guy is a piece of shit,” he said. “It shouldn’t matter what your politics are. If you can’t see that you are part of the problem end of story.”
Aside from Adidas, numerous other brands decided to end their partnership with West as well. The clothing company Gap, which had already ended its partnership with West, also announced that it would pull all of the rapper’s remaining products from its shelves.
West was also reportedly dropped by the talent agency CAA and French fashion house Balenciaga.
The rapper earlier this month had been temporarily suspended from Twitter and Instagram after stating that he planned to go “death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE.”
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*First Published: Oct 25, 2022, 3:17 pm CDT
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.