For publicly celebrating the end of the coronavirus crisis, Dave Portnoy, the founder of famous blogging and podcasting company Barstool Sports, was briefly suspended by Twitter.
User @mcm ct, a market commentary account, was the first to notice that Portnoy, who had 2.5 million followers on Twitter, had been suspended at around 7:50 EST on Friday, with the last reply tweets to his account having occurred only a few minutes before, implying the banned occurred around that time.
— mcm-ct.com (@mcm_ct) June 18, 2021
Some people speculated that Portnoy, who established the renowned blogging and podcasting business Barstool Sports, was celebrating the ending of the coronavirus pandemic. Portnoy drank a bottle of champagne engraved with the word “coronavirus” in a video that is still available on his Facebook page, which he declared was a ritual he performs whenever a “enemy” of his is crushed, stating that the pandemic is over and coronavirus is “dead,” he can finally cheer up with a cool champagne.
“It’s been a shitty 16 months, but you know when I have an enemy what I do, I put a bottle of champagne in the desk of my office… and I wait for them to fail… who is engraved on the back. I’ve been waiting for coronavirus. What a year I’ve had with this! I’ve been waiting, but now finally, I can pour it, and I can drink to the victory, because coronavirus is dead! Masks, gone, live life love, drink, be merry! Finally, I get to drink the best drink I’ve ever had in my life. Coronavirus is D E A D, bang! Enjoy it, drink up, enjoy life, we deserve it, let the roaring twenties begin!”
— DeLo (@DeLo_77) June 18, 2021
— Bet The Browns (@BetTheBrowns) June 18, 2021
The hashtag #FreePortnoy was developed in response. Although neither Portnoy nor Barstool Sports have issued an official statement on the ban, the official Barstool Sports account did tweet a photo of Portnoy with Twitter CEO and Founder Jack Dorsey at an event, along with the hashtag.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 19, 2021
National File contacted Twitter for comment on Portnoy’s suspension, particularly asking if he had violated Twitter’s COVID-19 misleading policy by proclaiming the epidemic “dead,” as reports claimed. With the country under lockdown and the world ending, National File wondered who on Twitter could tell if the epidemic was finished and when.
It’s 8:55 p.m. Portnoy’s Twitter account has now been reactivated. There has been no reason for the prohibition.
It’s 9:20 p.m. Update: Portnoy has celebrated the reactivation of his account with a tweet. The reason for Portnoy’s suspension has yet to be revealed by either Portnoy or Twitter.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) June 19, 2021