Former World Series champion pitcher Curt Schilling was fired Wednesday from his job as baseball analyst for ESPN after he posted a meme that has sparked outrage in the media. In their statement the company said his conduct was unacceptable and that, “ESPN is and inclusive company.”
In the post, Schilling wrote, “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
He responded to all the hype in a post on his WordPress blog, saying in part, “There are things I have deeply held beliefs in, things I have that are core to who I am, things I am passionate about. If you ask me about them it’s likely I’ll give you a passionate answer, whether you like that answer or not is completely up to you. I am not going to give you answers to make sure you like what I say, let the rest of the insecure world do that.”
Ted Cruz defended Schilling during a radio interview with Glenn Beck today. “ESPN fired Curt Schilling for making the rather obvious point that we shouldn’t allow grown male adult strangers alone in a bathroom with little girls. There are some bad people in the world, and we shouldn’t be facilitating putting little girls alone in a bathroom with grown adult men. That is just a bad, bad, bad idea,” Cruz said.
This morning on NBC’s The Today Show, Donald Trump criticized North Carolina’s new bathroom law, which requires individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their genitilia. Trump said that people should, “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate”.
In a March 1st radio interview Curt Schilling was asked if he thinks Hillary Clinton should go to jail. “I hope she does. If I’m gonna believe, and I don’t have any reason not to believe, that she gave classified information on hundreds if not thousands of emails on a public server after what happened to General Petraeus, she should be buried under a jail somewhere,” Schilling responded.
During that interview, baseball legend also had some harsh criticism for Donald Trump. “I’m tired of the ‘We’re Going To Make America Great Again’ I get it, but what does that mean? If nothing else, Donald Trump has proven to politicians in every corner in the globe that America’s voting block is giving a giant middle finger to the establishment. Listen, he hasn’t elaborated, like, on two sentences for a policy. ‘We’re going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.’ Okay, how? ‘Well, I’ll tell you later.’ There has been no depth to anything he’s said,” Schilling pointed out.
This is not the first time Schilling’s right wing political views have landed him in hot water. Back in August he sent out this controversial tweet, for which ESPN suspended him.
While I believe Curt Schilling could’ve been more thoughtful and used better judgement in the way he expressed his opinions, I agree with his sentiments that radical Islam is a major problem and that men have no place in women’s restrooms.
I understand that ESPN is a private entity that is free to hire and fire as they please. They have a public image to maintain. So I don’t fault them for getting rid of Curt Schilling, he knew he was on thin ice.
What’s very disturbing to me though, is the network’s gross double standard. Back in October ESPN radio host Tony Kornheiser compared Tea Party Conservatives to ISIS, and suggested that they were trying to “establish a caliphate” in Congress. Keep in mind that he did this on ESPN’s radio airwaves, while Schilling made his controversial posts on his own private social media accounts. ESPN didn’t fire Kornheiser. In fact, there’s no evidence he was even reprimanded for it.
— American Exceptionalism
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I would want to compare the two contracts to see if there’s a double standard or not. Usually TV contracts are more stringent in their “morals clauses” than radio contracts, and I expect there’s managerial discretion available to each of their bosses. My wife spent 30+ years in TV, and the contracts for a local news reporter basically say “Do anything anywhere we view as embarrassing to us or our audience, and we can fire you.” There has to be even less leeway if you are on air nationally. More bosses to upset.