The war of words between Bartstool Sports and ESPN's Sam Ponder just got muddier, with Barstool founder Dave Portnoy blaming Ponder for ESPN's declining viewership.
Referencing a Sporting News article that highlighted a 15 percent ratings drop on Sunday NFL Countdown, the show Ponder is in her first year hosting, Portnoy called Ponder a "cancer" infecting all of ESPN.
"Sam Ponder is seemingly single handedly destroying ESPN from the inside out. Everything she touches turns to mud. When she’s not intentionally sabotaging other people’s shows she’s unintentionally sabotaging her own show. She’s like a cancer just spreading and infecting the entire network. And I’m not saying that to be mean or because I hold a grudge. I mean I do hold a grudge, but these are just facts."
As if Portnoy hadn't gone far enough, he also questioned whether Ponder would blame God for her show's sliding ratings, "like her husband did when he sucked at the NFL."
He's referring to a day last October when former Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said he used to blame God when he didn't play well.
There's history here
In October, Barstool agreed to partner with ESPN on a TV show featuring Barstool personalities talking sports in a van.
But ESPN canceled that partnership after Ponder took to Twitter to reference Portnoy's nasty personal attack on her in 2014, when he called her a "slut" and the mother of an ugly baby. More on that from The Big Lead.
Women covering sports face serious harassment
Why Portnoy decided to go after Sam Ponder in the first place, we don't know.
But we do know that female sports reporters usually have to put up with more verbal abuse and BS than most male reporters.
Take this ESPNW story from 2016, in which they had men read some of the comments on social media directed at women reporters.
It includes phrases like, “One of the players should beat you to death with their hockey stick … like the w---r you are … c--t."
As well as one directed at a women who was a rape survivor: "“I hope you get raped again."
More recently, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton got in trouble when he said it's "funny to hear a female" reporter ask questions about running routes.