NEW YORK — New York Mets owner Steve Cohen deleted or deactivated his Twitter account Friday amid a stock-trading controversy that he said led to threats against his family.
Cohen said in a statement Saturday morning that he took a break from Twitter but he would continue to listen to fan suggestions in other ways.
“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,” Cohen said. “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!”
Earlier this week, the video game retailer became a vortex battleground where swarms of smaller investors saw themselves making an epic stand against the 1%.
It started when GameStop was shorted by more than 100%. That means, investors had bet more shares than existed in the company that it would lose value. Betting that a company would lose value, or short bets, is normal on Wall Street. And having a situation GameStop was in is not unheard of.
What is unique this time, is that people noticed and decided to see what would happen to those betting on a loss, when suddenly there was investment in the stock.
The online-fueled stock surge of GameStop caused the company’s worth to shoot to nearly $10 billion. Last summer, its stock was worth $4 a share. On Wednesday, a share was above $300.
A pair of professional investment firms that placed big bets that the video game retailer’s stock would crash took a major financial hit.
According to the Financial Times, Cohen’s hedge fund Point72 joined Citadel in putting $2.75 billion into Melvin Capital, the hedge fund of Gabe Plotkin, a former Cohen protege.
Melvin suffered double-digit losses as it holds a huge short position on GameStop.
Cohen’s Point72, which had already invested $1 billion in Melvin, added $750 million to Citadel’s $2 billion, and now has a significant non-controlling stake in Melvin.
Now, Cohen has stepped away from the social media platform where he had gained notoriety for interacting with Mets fans and players.
The hedge fund billionaire told Mets fans “We have other ways to listen to your suggestions and remain committed to doing that.” He added that this week’s events would not affect the team’s resources.
Cohen first took a stake in the Mets in 2012. Last year he gained 95% ownership in a deal that valued the club at $2.4 billion, a record sale price for a Major League Baseball team. This isn’t the first controversy under his watch, however.
Mets general manager Jared Porter was fired earlier in January after he was accused of sending graphic, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office.