The National Women’s Hockey League has fired back at Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini after she called out her critics in a Twitter video that went viral.
Nardini has been a prominent supporter of the NWHL and has stated her hope to buy a team in the upstart league one day, but she had come under fire recently in the women’s hockey community, with many accusing Barstool of having a history of misogyny and racism.
Nardini responded by tweeting a video Monday from her “Token CEO” podcast account calling out her “haters,” which included tweets from journalists and hockey fans ripping Barstool – while doubling down on her desire to buy a team and support the league.
In response, the NWHL released a statement calling out Nardini for publicly naming said journalists and fans, saying they “could be targeted or harassed on social media,” according to ESPN.
“There is no circumstance where it would be acceptable to call out many of the reporters, staff members and fans who have given so much to women’s hockey, especially knowing that these people could be targeted or harassed on social media,” NWHL commissioner Tyler Tumminia said in a statement.
“I’m concerned about the impact of the video and the aftermath of it on members of the NWHL family. Together, we will do everything we can to work through it with open communication and transparency.”
The online criticism against Nardini has continued to the point where Dave Portnoy, Barstool’s outspoken and controversial founder, released an “emergency press conference” on Twitter.
“[Nardini is] passionate about hockey, loves it, plays it, supports it, invested in it, probably the number one supporter of a league called the National Women’s Hockey League,” Portnoy said. “You probably didn’t know it existed.
“… Erika has dove two feet into it. She wants to buy a team. She has players on her podcast, ‘Token CEO.’ She’s talked with management. She’s been as involved and as instrumental as any person in this league getting it attention. You’d think a league that barely anyone knows about would welcome that, crave that. Well, they have – until this weekend, when a couple female journalists that cover the league took shots at Erika.”
The NWHL told ESPN that neither Nardini nor Barstool has formally applied to own a team, and there has never been any financial arrangement.
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