ESPN star calls out Barstool Sports sexism in rough start to union – New York Post

So far, no good for the ESPN-Barstool Sports partnership.

One of ESPN’s rising talents, first-year “Sunday NFL Countdown” host Samantha Ponder, gave her newest colleagues a cold welcome on Twitter on Monday, three days after the announcement that Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast is coming to ESPN2. The popular sports comedy show will make its TV debut Tuesday night.

In a message directed at the show’s co-host, Dan “Big Cat” Katz, Ponder sarcastically received him into the “ESPN family” by attaching screenshots from a 2014 Barstool blog post that told her to “go f–k” herself for a tweet she posted following the Ray Rice scandal. Ponder questioned at the time why certain websites that “constantly disrespect women & objectify their bodies” criticized the former Ravens running back for a domestic violence incident against his to-be wife that cost him his NFL career.

“Welcome to the ESPN family @BarstoolBigCat,” Ponder wrote, “(& welcome to all ur minions who will respond to this so kindly).”

The person responsible for that section of the blog post is not Katz, but likely his boss, Barstool founder David Portnoy. Ponder highlighted the “Editor’s Note” attached to the original blog post, which appears to have Portnoy’s name written all over it.

“Seriously you sound like a KO Barstool freak, not a chick that has a job where  the #1 requirement is you make men hard,” the note read. “So give it a rest with your righteous indignation. Your entire career and livelihood is based on appealing to guys like me and blogs like ours. Bottomline is guys thinking chicks are hot is natural. It’s Darwinism. It’s never gonna change. But that doesn’t mean we don’t respect women and think it’s okay to hit a woman. I have no idea what’s so confusing about that. Go f–k yourself.”

Katz quickly defended himself, repeatedly saying he didn’t write the blog post she referenced. It’s unclear if Ponder believes Katz is the author or if his affiliation with Barstool Sports, a blog that appeals to young males and frequently passes off casual sexism as jokes, is reason enough for her to speak out against her now coworker. Katz eventually told her she probably has him “confused for my boss Dave here.”

The 31-year-old Ponder, who started at ESPN in 2011 as a college football and basketball sideline reporter, threw out one more threat before ending the night with an empowering message.

“Don’t feel sorry for me. I have a voice. & even though it can be scary to use it sometimes, (as all my DMs right now confirm), if those of us who have a platform don’t use ours, those without one may not use theirs either,” Ponder wrote in a tweet that included an arm muscle emoji.

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