Mantis Returned to Barstool on a One-Day Contract After Leaving the Company in 2020

"From winning Barstool Idol in 2018, to getting let go from Barstool end of 2020, to coming back on a 1-Day contract to do what I love was a full circle moment."


Feb. 15 2024, Published 11:14 a.m. ET

From 2018 to 2020, Mantis, whose real name is Alex, was a fixture at Barstool Sports. He was known for his self-deprecation and skill as a basketball shooter. After leaving Barstool in 2020, Mantis returned in February 2024 to help the team complete a free throw competition.

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That return left many wondering why Mantis doesn't still work at Barstool, and whether he might ever become of the company's full-time employees again. Here's what we know about why Mantis initially left Barstool, and why he seemed so happy to be back.

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Why did Mantis leave Barstool Sports?

Mantis left Barstool sports as part of a round of layoffs in 2020. Those layoffs were likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but no detailed reason was given for his firing. He was initially brought on in 2018 after winning Barstool Idol, and made content for the company for approximately two years, including some in which he went on dates with famous women.

Mantis, who has a bent spinal cord, was likely hired at least in part as a joke by the Barstool team, but he clearly made the most of the opportunities he had while working with the company. He also seemed grateful for the chance to come back, even if it was only for a single day. While plenty of fans are still insistent that Mantis be brought back as one of the company's full-time employees, Mantis himself has had a positive attitude about every chance that has come his way.

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Mantis returned for a recent free throw competition.

In a post on Twitter, Mantis thanked Barstool CEO Dave Portnoy for the chance to return to the company for a free throw competition.

"From winning Barstool Idol in 2018, to getting let go from Barstool end of 2020, to coming back on a 1-Day contract to do what I love (Hoop and make people laugh) was a full circle moment. Thank you Dave and everyone for welcoming me back in open arms and for continuing to support me," Mantis wrote on Twitter.

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Under his post, fans weighed in to say that they wanted Mantis to be rehired. They also had some suggestions about who could be let go so that he could return.

"Mantis did for more @barstoolsports on a 1 day contract than @kellykeegs has done in a year," one person wrote on Twitter.

"Are they srsly not going to hire you?" another person wrote.

Although many of Mantis's fans were understandably upset that he wouldn't be returning to the company in a more permanent capacity, Mantis has remained his usually upbeat self.

When Mantis first announced that he had been fired in 2023, fans encouraged him to cheer up. While some are still mean about his bent spinal cord, Mantis's greatest skill is in knowing how to make fun of himself. That's part of the reason he was originally hired and it's what makes so many fans eager for him to return to Barstool.

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