“If you’ve never worked in media, know that it isn’t normal”
October 15th, 2017 – Dave Portnoy, founder of the popular sports blog, Barstool Sports, has launched an online offensive against the sports personality who recently rejected a job offer with his company. Elika Sadeghi, a noted college football commentator, is in the news after she posted a problematic clause in the company’s employment contract. In a series of tweets Sadeghi made the case that she declined the offer because of the specific language in the contract – language she felt crossed the line of appropriate workplace conduct.
I was offered a full time, 2 year deal over the summer. It would’ve been fun and it would’ve paid well. No brainer, right?
Portnoy countered by suggesting that it was Sadeghi’s conduct that was inappropriate in how she chose to publicize the matter. The Barstool Sports fixture characterized Sadeghi as someone invested in promoting an agenda:
“I thought it was unfair. I guess I wasn’t overly surprised based on our interactions. I think she’s somebody who wants to be part of a bigger narrative that’s going on right now and she used us as a scapegoat for it.”
It’s sad when people who crave attention insert themselves in important stories just to make it about themselves pic.twitter.com/PlvA3NQYo3
Sadeghi remarked that she didn’t feel comfortable signing the contract even if such language was removed and she also took pains to make clear she did not feel threatened or uncomfortable during her personal interactions with anyone affiliated with Barstool Sports. Despite this she still felt the precedent of submitting in writing to such conditions was a bridge too far:
“Whether it’s explicitly stated in contracts or not, too often, people are made to feel like they can’t speak up about the inexcusable. I made clear why I was walking, that this was offensive.”
The twittersphere was engulfed in a debate over whether or not Sadeghi was justified in publishing the contract (the name of the company was redacted from her post, though Sadeghi was widely known to be fielding a job offer from Barstool Sports at the time). Diehard fans of the blog, the vision of which Portnoy has described as “sports/smut,” rushed to Barstool’s defense and joined with Portnoy in calling Sadeghi a “fraud.”