Barstool Sports' Ben Mintz. (Barrett Sports Media.) Barstool Sports’ Ben Mintz. (Barrett Sports Media.)

Barstool Sports’ founder Dave Portnoy’s purchase of that company back from Penn Entertainment Tuesday (reportedly for $0 upfront, but for non-compete agreements and a contract to split future Barstool sale or monetization event proceeds with Penn) not only paved the way for Penn’s remarkable deal with ESPN, it ended a series of apparent public tensions between Barstool and Penn. Perhaps chief amongst those was Barstool firing personality Ben Mintz in May (after Mintz read a racial slur on air while reciting song lyrics) and saying that was Penn-mandated, then hiring Mintz to a role at his separate Brick Watch Company. On Tuesday, around Portnoy’s reacquisition of Barstool, he quickly hired Mintz back at Barstool, with both of them sharing video of that call:

To be clear, the Mintz situation was far from the only issue between Barstool and Penn. Around the Barstool buyback, both Portnoy and Penn CEO Jay Snowden talked extensively Tuesday and Wednesday about the challenges of having gambling operator Penn, a company that has to deal with a litany of state and federal regulators, associated with often-controversial Barstool.

And that came up around Mintz’s firing, too; while Portnoy implied that led to a Penn stock drop, he also referenced Penn’s regulatory challenges, and seemed somewhat understanding of why they made that decision. So this isn’t necessarily Portnoy blasting Penn again, but rather a reflection of the differing environments Barstool was in with Penn and now post-Penn. As Snowden said on a Penn Q2 earnings call Wednesday, “It became obvious to both parties that there’s quality to one long-term natural owner of Barstool, and that’s Dave Portnoy.” And hiring Mintz back to Barstool immediately after that parting of the ways is certainly a Portnoy move, and not a Penn move.

[Dave Portnoy and Ben Mintz on Twitter; image of Mintz from Barrett Sports Media]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.