Barstool Sports, renowned for its extensive digital media presence and popular podcasts like “BFFs” and “Barstool Rundown,” once counted Michael Rapaport among its collaborators. Rapaport, already known for his podcast “I Am Rapaport,” joined forces with Barstool Sports in 2017, a move that was met with enthusiasm from both the comedian and Barstool Sports CEO, Dave Portnoy.
Portnoy expressed his excitement about having Rapaport on board, hailing him as one of the funniest individuals globally and a perfect fit for Barstool. Rapaport, known for his candid and sometimes controversial commentary, found Barstool’s irreverent approach to be a great match for his own style.
However, Rapaport’s stint with Barstool Sports took an unexpected turn when he made allegations about a fellow employee’s use of performance-enhancing drugs for a boxing match. This led to a Twitter exchange where Rapaport criticized Barstool fans, which didn’t sit well with CEO Dave Portnoy.
Following these comments, Rapaport was swiftly let go from Barstool Sports. Portnoy asserted that it was an unequivocal decision, emphasizing that one couldn’t disparage the company’s fanbase and expect to remain employed.
The fallout didn’t end there. Barstool Sports subsequently posted content on social media insinuating derogatory remarks about Rapaport, including accusations of racism, stalking, and carrying a herpes infection. This prompted Rapaport to take legal action against the company.
In the ensuing legal battle, Rapaport filed a lawsuit in September 2018, alleging defamation and breach of contract. He claimed that Barstool Sports had damaged his reputation by making false statements about him and by selling merchandise featuring derogatory images of him.
Barstool Sports responded with a countersuit, seeking $400,000 in damages. They argued that Rapaport had no grounds to sue them for herpes-related comments, as he himself had made similar statements in the past. They also contended that they were within their rights to terminate Rapaport’s contract if he brought disrepute to the company.
Ultimately, the defamation lawsuit was dismissed in 2021, but Rapaport’s breach of contract case proceeded. In 2022, both parties decided to drop their breach of contract suits, with Rapaport reserving the right to appeal the earlier ruling on his defamation case. This legal saga marked the end of the contentious chapter between Michael Rapaport and Barstool Sports.