Dave Portnoy, the founder of the Barstool Sports digital media empire, has been hailed as a rising star in the conservative world. But Portnoy stirred up anger on Friday after releasing a video in which he blasted the Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade.
“To me, this is just pure insanity,” Portnoy said in the video, which he posted to Twitter. “We are going backwards in time. We are literally going backwards in time.”
The conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark 1973 decision that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion, saying that individual states can now permit or restrict the procedure themselves.
“It is just nuts to me,” Portnoy continued, noting that it would disproportionally impact poor individuals. “Not to mention, the same people who want to take it away and overturn it are saying we’ve got to protect guns because of the Constitution.”
“At what point do you look at the Constitution and say, hey, this was written by people who had slaves. Maybe not everything is exactly to a T in the Constitution,” he said.
The new ruling represents a victory of 50 years of struggle against abortion by the religious right but the anti-abortion camp is expected to continue to push for an outright nationwide ban.
The ruling was made possible by the nomination of three conservative justices to the court by former Republican president Donald Trump -- Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
The case before the court was a Mississippi law that would restrict abortion to 15 weeks but during the hearing of the case in December several justices indicated they were prepared to go further.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 13 states have adopted so-called "trigger laws" that will ban abortion following the move by the Supreme Court.
Ten others have pre-1973 laws that could go into force or legislation that would ban abortion after six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.
Portnoy said that he still believes that the United States is the best country in the world, but warned that “we’re going backwards.”
“And the left and the right suck so f*cking bad,” he added, saying the ruling made it necessary to vote for Joe Biden's re-election.
Portnoy's video set off a flurry of responses, with many conservatives on Twitter blasting his comments.
Mollie Hemingway, the chief editor of The Federalist, responded to the video by questioning Portnoy’s masculinity.
“Using women and violently killing your offspring is unmanly,” she tweeted.
Breitbart News editor Emma-Jo Morris simply replied: “Cringe.”
"You were cool before you sold out," added conservative journalist Collin Pruett.
Conservative author Jason Mattera, meanwhile, described the video as a " good rant if you’re in the mood to lose IQ points."
Last year, an analysis published at Politico argued that the "Republican Party has become the party of Barstool Sports."
"The rise of the 'Barstool Republican,' to coin a phenotype, doesn’t necessarily explain Trump," wrote Politico's Derek Robertson. "It is, however, a useful way to understand what’s happened to American politics without constantly invoking the former president’s name. Portnoy’s devotees aren’t MAGA fanatics or Q fans who live to torment liberals, and they’re certainly not part of the GOP’s evangelical base... But the Barstool Republican now largely defines the Republican coalition."
With additional reporting by AFP
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