Penn Entertainment stock prices have dropped significantly since it was announced that a presenter on Barstool Sports, a media outlet it owns, had been fired for accidentally saying the n-word while on air.
On Thursday, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted a video in which he explained that Ben Mintz, who had hosted his own morning show on the platform, had been fired after rapping song lyrics without censoring the racial slur they contained on Monday.
The decision provoked outrage from fans, with the incident being portrayed as a mistake. Mintz apologized on social media on the day it occurred, and Portnoy said the decision to fire him had come from Penn.
Penn stocks had been trading above $30 a share throughout the week until Thursday, when they tumbled, reaching a low of $26 by 4 p.m. ET that day—a drop of more than 13 percent. Prior to that, they had been trending upwards, and the last point they were below $27 was March 15.
The slide represents the lowest price for the stock since May 2020. According to Action Network, an analytics firm, it represented a drop in Penn’s value of $633 million; it only paid $551 million across two purchases in January 2020 and February this year for Barstool.
Darren Rovell, a senior executive producer at Action Network, noted that the firing of Mintz had come on the same day as a “lukewarm” earnings report for the first quarter of the year, in which it missed estimates for its expected investor dividends.
Newsweek reached out to Penn Entertainment via email for comment on Friday.
As well as owning Barstool—of which it initially purchased a 36 percent stake, before buying the rest of the company—Penn is the parent company of The Score, another sports-related entity. It operates numerous casino, racing and entertainment businesses, as well as online gaming and sports betting gambling operations.
Mintz had used the n-word while reciting the lyrics to the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony song “1st of tha Month.”
That day, he tweeted that he had made an “unforgivable mistake,” adding: “I meant no harm & have never felt worse about anything. I apologize for my actions. I am truly sorry & ashamed of myself.”
In what Portnoy described as an “emergency press conference” video, Portnoy explained: “He rapped a racial slur; he turned white as a ghost. You could tell instantly, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ It was like a Ron Burgundy moment.”
Portnoy told the New York Post that he didn’t agree with the decision made by Penn, but added: “It’s not my decision to make.”
Responding to online criticism of being a “sellout,” Portnoy issued another video in which he replied: “Yeah we sold the f*** out because that’s what you do when you’re an entrepreneur.”