Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports is clearly white. As white as white can be, as white as snow, as white as a sheet. But has being white influenced Portnoy’s success at building a sports media empire?
Firstly, it depends if as a black man Dave chose to focus on the niche of black sports representation. Black Sports Online is the biggest sports blog dedicated to covering black people. By purely focusing on one race it limits the breadth of the contents subject matter. Removing its ability to cover sports news and cultural events covering people who are not black. Yet Black Sports Online still covers sports involving non-black athletes such as the story of a soccer referee in Russia who was punched by a white soccer player. But if a black Dave Portnoy chose to focus on a niche within sports media, instead of mass market sports and pop culture news it would almost certainly limit the traffic to his site and his ability to generate revenue. It would be like McDonalds only allowing in black customers.
Dave’s personal wealth is estimated at $200 million, but what if Dave was black. Would his ability to become wealthy be any different? Well seeing as there black American billionaires there is already a precedent to show that black Dave Portnoy could become wealthy. Yet there are only six black America billionaires. Indicating that is far harder for black Americans to become wealthy than non-black people. Incidentally, those six black American billionaires are:
6. Jay-Z: $1 billion
5. Kayne West: $1.3 billion
4. Michael Jordan: $1.9 billion
3. Oprah Winfrey: $2.7 billion
2. David Steward: $3.5 billion, World Wide Technology co-founder
1. Robert Smith: $5 billion, Investor
Robert Smith is the richest African-African who come in 131st the 2019 Forbes richest Americans.
If all things were equal there would be closer to be closer to 30 black billionaires than just 6. Dr. Dre is worth an estimated $800m, creating a trio of African-Americans who have made vast sums of money originating from the music industry whilst Michael Jordan made his billions from sport and Oprah Winfrey made wealth from the media industry. This suggests there are genuine obstacles for black people in the world of commerce.
When it comes to racial equality there often two sides to the argument. One being that black people have a different culture and attitude towards life with crime levels much higher amongst black communities than non-black communities. In other words, black people are simply less interested in building law-abiding businesses. This maybe evidenced by the higher levels of gun crime and imprisonment of black people throughout America. Alternatively, many race relations activists claim that slavery in American still lingers as a form of oppression over black people in America. Yet, the black population of Europe suffers from similar income inequality and poor education results to black people in America. Yet Europe does not have a history of slavery, which suggests that the concept of oppression towards black people in America stemming from slavery is false.
Perhaps the stigma of slavery towards black people stems from the estimated six million modern day slaves in Africa. The news story of modern-day slavery circulates on an annual basis including footage of slavery markets. The levels of corruption and ‘scams’ stemming from Africa may also act as a stigma towards black people. Leading people who not black to mistrust or fear black people. Not just in America, but internationally.
If Dave Portnoy was black he would have to battle to overcome any stigma that plays against him as a black person in America. This may require Portnoy to worker harder on his public image and persona in order to attract sponsors and investors. Taking up valuable time to grow his business. Slowing the growth of his business, which may explain the imbalance in black billionaires within America.
Based on any possible stigma towards black people in America, if Portnoy was black some protentional investors may view his ethnicity as a risk. The stigma towards blacks people as untrustworthy or even as criminals may convince some investors that Dave Portnoy as a black man may simply run off with their money. Black music often portrays black men as ‘gangsters’ who spend all their money on bouncing cars and strippers. Instead of business people who expand their business into prime New York offices.
For Dave Portnoy to as successful as he has been he would have to overcome certain obstacles. Both internally and externally, often summarised as a vicious cycle. A cycle that goes something along the lines of…if black people weren’t committing so many crimes there wouldn’t be a stigma against black people, everyone should be treated equally regardless of the color of their skin. But how can black people be treated equally when they are far more likely to commit a crime.
To say that Dave Portnoy couldn’t be successful as a black person is false, but to say he wouldn’t face many challenging obstacles is also false.