Just days after a Twitter spat with Barstool Sports’ David Portnoy, and amid the GameStop stonk rally against Wall Street hedge funds, Mets owner and hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has deleted his Twitter account.
Cohen issued a statement Saturday through the Mets:
“I’ve really enjoyed the back and forth with Mets fans on Twitter which was unfortunately overtaken this week by misinformation unrelated to the Mets that led to our family getting personal threats. So I’m going to take a break for now. We have other ways to listen to your suggestions and remain committed to doing that. I love our team, this community, and our fans, who are the best in baseball. Bottom line is that this week’s events in no way affect our resources and drive to put a championship team on the field. #LGM!”
Among his final tweets, Cohen admitted to being impacted by the “rough crowd” on Twitter amid the GameStop rally to battle Wall Street hedge funds deeply invested on shorting the stock of the brick and mortar gaming retailer. He also had a back-and-forth with Portnoy, a Barstool badboy who has stood up against Robinhood’s temporary block on GameStop buyers.
“Rough crowd on Twitter tonight,” Cohen tweeted Wednesday night. “Hey stock jockeys keep bringing it.”
At the end of an exchange with Portnoy, who has called for the jailing of those involved in seemingly backing hedge fund short sellers against the Reddit warriors from the WallStreetBets message board, Cohen tweeted: Hey Dave, what’s your beef with me. I’m just trying to make a living just like you. Happy to take this offline.
Portnoy rejected the overture and vowed to continue the fight against Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and fellow hedge fund Citadel run by billionaire Ken Griffin, which reportedly bailed out Melvin Capital Management with $2.75 billion amid the short squeeze. Melvin is run by Cohen’s former protégé Gabe Plotkin, the New York Post noted.
Cohen, who is worth is an estimated $14.6 billion, completed the purchase of the Mets last fall and has pushed the team’s salaries up near Major League Baseball’s luxury tax threshold over $210 million. The moves included adding big-ticket free agents and trading for shortstop Francisco Lindor, who received a one-deal over $22 million.
Both Portnoy and WFAN-N.Y. radio host Boomer Esiason, a former NFL star, vowed to get to the bottom of Cohen’s potential involvement in the GameStop “stonk” rally.
“Hey, I don’t want to hear that from you, you know what I mean?” Esiason said Friday of Cohen’s tweet about “trying to make a living.”
“You hedge-fund billionaire. Just keep your mouth shut. The other thing is, he also put out another one: ‘Hey stock jockeys, keep bringing it.’
“So he’s discounting the Reddit WallStreetBets people as ‘stock jockeys’ and taking shots at them like he knows what’s going on because he’s sitting in this hedge fund king chair making all these decisions.
“I hate that. That’s why, I told you this morning when I came in, I said, ‘You know what? I swear to God, I’m not going to go to another Met game until I find out exactly what’s going on here.’ This actually makes me sick to my stomach.”
Cohen’s account was deleted later Friday, per the Post.
Cohen was not the only Wall Street name facing personal threats amid the speculative frenzy in GameStop by retail investors. Andrew Left of Citron Research also said he was threatened for his short call on the video game retailer. Citron announced Friday it will no longer publish short selling research.