Dave Portnoy, head of Barstool Sports, the sports blog with a reputation for being aggressively politically incorrect, threatened on Twitter Tuesday to fire “on the spot” any employee who even discusses the prospect of unionizing. Under the National Labor Relations Act it is illegal for companies to fire or discipline employees due to union-related activities. The founder and chief of content appeared nonplussed by that fact, responding to several tweets explaining federal labor law to him. In response to one commenter who shared his hope that Barstool employees will be able to form a union, Portnoy wrote, “Me too. Just so I can crush it and reassert my dominance.”
Portnoy’s anti-union rhetoric is nothing new; but Tuesday’s tirade drew out powerful new adversaries, including the New York Department of Labor and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). “If you’re a boss tweeting firing threats to employees trying to unionize, you are likely breaking the law & can be sued, in your words, ‘on the spot,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to Portnoy. He quickly fired back at AOC, writing: “Welcome to thunder dome. Debate me.” Hours later, a member of the Trump family chimed in to defend Portnoy. “Picking a fight with @stoolpresidente and @barstoolsports is probably the biggest mistake @AOC has ever made on Twitter,” the president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted.