Published September 12, 2018
The bad blood between Sam Ponder and Barstool Sports continues to boil nearly a year later.
While answering questions from followers Tuesday night on her Instagram story, the “Sunday NFL Countdown” host addressed a claim that she was the catalyst behind the demise of “Barstool Van Talk” last fall.
“I specifically told those who asked that I did NOT want their show cancelled and that I’d gladly be a guest on their show to discuss how their president made a video saying [daughter] Scout should have been aborted. But OKAY,” Ponder penned.
Ponder’s war of words with Barstool and its controversial president, Dave Portnoy, stems back to last year, ahead of the premiere of ESPN’s “Barstool Van Talk,” which was canceled after one episode. Portnoy alleged Ponder tried to ax the series before it premiered when she sarcastically welcomed co-host Dan “Big Cat” Katz to the Worldwide Leader, attaching screenshots from a 2014 Barstool blog post that told her to “go f–k herself.”
That led to a war of words between Ponder and Barstool and a spiraling PR nightmare for ESPN. Then-president John Skipper stepped in to end the network’s affiliation with the divisive blog targeted at young males.
On Tuesday evening, Portnoy issued a response to Ponder’s post, titled, “In The Face of Plunging ratings and Unheard of Unpopularity Sam Ponder Has Resorted To Flat Out lying About Barstool Sports to Save Her Job At ESPN.”
“She wanted to sabotage us at the expense of her own company and that’s exactly what she did,” Portnoy penned.
“But I don’t think even she understood what she was doing. She didn’t understand the grave she dug for herself and her career. Now Stoolies DESPISE her. [‘Pardon My Take’] fans DESPISE her. She alienated the very audience that ESPN needs so desperately and why they turned to us in the first place. And now she is feeling the heat. Her rankings and likability are in the toilet. Her career is in the toilet.”
Katz also weighed in, saying he made attempts to get in touch with her prior to the cancellation.
“I really don’t want to go down this BVT thing again but Sam Ponder saying she would have met with us is a flat out lie,” Katz wrote on Twitter. “I asked multiple people to reach out and set up a meeting when it was clear she wanted the show cancelled. That’s the truth.”
Ponder has not addressed the reactions Wednesday on Twitter. An ESPN spokesperson said her “comment speaks for itself,” according to The Big Lead.
As for Portnoy, he’s publicly waiting.