New York Mets majority owner Steve Cohen announced that he was taking a break from Twitter on Saturday because his family received threats. The owner and hedge fund founder had received backlash from people on the social media platform who speculated that he was involved in halting trading on various “meme stocks” like GameStop on mobile trading apps such as Robinhood. Cohen had denied accusations on Twitter.
In a statement released on Saturday, Cohen said that he liked his ability to be in touch with Mets fans on Twitter, but he was forced to step back following threats due to “misinformation” on the platform.
“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,” he said.
A contact for the Mets declined Newsweek‘s request for further comment.
While the statement didn’t mention it, Cohen has been the subject of much criticism and accusations following public outcry against Wall Street in response to companies like Robinhood halting trading on certain stocks such as GameStop (GME) and AMC Entertainment (AMC). The backlash appears rooted in the fact that Cohen’s hedge fund Point72 Asset Management loaned Melvin Capital $750 million to cover shorts that Melvin had lost money on due to the Reddit traders, according to Bloomberg.
One of Cohen’s most vocal critics was Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. The “Stool Presidente” cited the Melvin investment when responding to one of Cohen’s tweets, asking what his problem was. Portnoy wrote that he thought Cohen “had strong hand [sic] in [Thursday’s] criminal events to save hedge funds at the cost of ordinary people.”
Cohen responded, “I unequivocally deny that accusation. I had zero to do with what happened today Btw, If I want to make an additional investment with somebody that is my right if it’s in the best interest of my investors.”
Despite tweeting that he didn’t believe many of Cohen’s responses, Portnoy occasionally gave the Mets owner credit for trying to respond or occasionally found common ground, such as when Cohen tweeted that he thought that brokers should release a statement, although he did write that he still “seem[ed] shady.” Cohen also seemed to agree with some of Portnoy’s calls for answers from major Wall Street players. “Legitimate questions that deserve answers . My guess is they were protecting their own hide if stocks burst and people couldn’t put up margin . It happens in commodity markets all the time . They don’t have to lend money if they don’t want to,” he wrote in one response.
In another tweet responding to Cohen’s departure from Twitter, Portnoy criticized those who threatened the billionaire, but still said he should be questioned. Barstool Sports tweeted about him leaving with a less-kind headline, calling him a “Sc**bag Who Built His Life On Lying, Cheating, And Stealing From The Common Man.”