The network had collaborated with Barstool on a series called Barstool Van Talk — but the cancellation comes after just one episode. The series was billed as an extension of the Barstool Sports podcast "Pardon My Take," The Huffington Post explained.
The cancellation came after ESPN President John Skipper learned about Barstool president and founder Dave Portnoy's history of sexist and misogynist comments. Apparently, multiple ESPN employees emailed Skipper to express their displeasure with the new partnerships, Sports Illustrated reports.
In 2014, Portnoy made multiple sexist comments about Sam Ponder (pictured left), the host of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. Portnoy called Ponder a "fucking slut" and said in a blog post that her top job requirement was to "make men hard," the Huffington Post notes.
There is also the fact that former Barstool Sports employee Chris Spagnuolo wrote a troubling blog post about Rihanna's appearance, though that doesn't appear to be linked to the ESPN cancellation.
ESPN's PR Twitter account issued a statement from Skipper about Barstool Van Talk. The network provided the same statement to Refinery29 when asked for comment.
"Effective immediately, I am cancelling Barstool Van Talk," the statement reads. "While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content. Apart from this decision, we appreciate the efforts of Big Cat and PFT Commenter. They delivered the show they promised."
Barstool Sports also tweeted an "emergency press conference," and Portnoy didn't appear to regret his choice of words in 2014.
"Three years ago, I guess I called Sam Ponder a word that in hindsight I wish I took back so this didn't happen," Portnoy said during the so-called press conference. "But I don't take back the rift, I don't take back any of it."
Portnoy, for his part, has also tweeted about the news indirectly with memes like this one.
Barstool Sports didn't immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment. We will update this post as more information becomes available.
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