Massachusetts magazine apologizes for cover story on Dave Portnoy, COVID fundraiser for small businesses

A Massachusetts-based magazine issued an apology over its glowing cover story of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy and his viral fundraiser that aided small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Portnoy was featured on the May issue of Nantucket Magazine and was interviewed about Barstool Fund, which he launched back in December and raised nearly $40 million that helped over 300 small businesses withstand the financial burdens brought on by COVID. 

However, the positive coverage of Portnoy apparently sparked a backlash among its readers enough so that the magazine addressed the uproar. 

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“Since releasing our May issue a week ago, we have heard from various members of our community who vehemently object to our current cover featuring Dave Portnoy,” publisher Bruce A. Percelay and editor Robert Cocuzzo wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “While the story was intended to highlight Mr. Portnoy’s work in support of small businesses, a number of people in the community have taken issue with offensive remarks and actions he has made in the past. We never want to hurt, offend or disappoint any of our readers with the stories we publish. Accordingly, we formally apologize for any pain caused to those who have objected to this May cover.”

The magazine explained its past support for the Portnoy story since he is a Nantucket homeowner and that the fundraiser helped several local businesses. 

“We now recognize and acknowledge our oversight in how this story would be received,” Percelay and Cocuzzo continued. “We appreciate feedback, positive or otherwise, because ultimately it helps make us a better publication going forward.”

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They continued, “For nearly twenty years, N Magazine has been devoted to improving life on the island, from highlighting inspiring stories to supporting local nonprofits. We remain committed to this mission and to serving the interests of our readers.”

In response to the apology, Portnoy wrote, “everybody who doesn’t like me should go f— themselves.”

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