On Curt Schilling

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In case you haven’t heard this already, ESPN has fired Curt Schilling as one of its baseball analysts.

The former All-Star righthander is not one to hide his conservative views, and a few days ago he shared on Facebook a pretty nasty photo meant to demean transgenders. Here’s the actual image …

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.23.09 AM… and these are his words:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.23.43 AMNow, to be 100-percent clear, I have long thought Curt Schilling to be an under-evolved dolt of the first degree. There’s this thing that happens to a lot of professional athletes—namely, they come to think they’re smarter than they actually are. It’s largely a result of we media folks building up their egos with repeated interviews, compliments, etc. For years, Schilling was a press go-to guy. He was well-spoken, quotable, excellent when it came to breaking down everything from the span of nine innings to the intricacies of a single pitch. Shortly after he retired, ESPN rushed to add him to its crew, and with good reason.

So, truly, we are somewhat to blame for Schilling believing himself to be a man of great wisdom.

I digress.

Despite Schilling’s words, which suck, and his past comments, which also sucked, I rarely like how large sports entities like ESPN handle these things. To drift back in time a bit, in 2000—after my Sports Illustrated profile of John Rocker was released—Major League Baseball suspended the pitcher … and I was furious. Yeah, Rocker was a xenophobic racist dickhead. But if you’re gonna put your employees out there for public consumption, and you urge (and, in some cases, require) them to deal with the media, well, you can’t expect all comers to share your (and my) evolved, liberal view of the world. Not everyone is comfortable with gays. Not everyone things transgender men should use the men’s room. Are their beliefs founded in any logic or decency? No. But we are, largely, a slow-to-learn people. It takes some of us time to accept, embrace, understand. The whole transgender issue is still v-e-r-y new, and I get why it’s uncomfortable for some (educated solely via the exploits of the Kardashians) to accept.

This is especially true in sports—a largely sheltered society where jocks are instructed to turn their thoughts off and their athleticism on. It’s a do-first-think-later world, and to think men like Schilling might be evolved and equipped to handle a changing world is, truly, laughable.

Now, I am not defending Curt Schilling. Again, he’s a worthless pile of shit. But, ultimately, his firing does far more harm than good. Now the right has another gripe with the “liberal media.” Now Schilling returns to his cave to stew over the damn libs silencing him. Now Fox News can continue its “war on …” narrative.

And ESPN loses a pretty darn good analyst.

13 thoughts on “On Curt Schilling”

  1. If he had a far left POV on men using female bathrooms I doubt ESPN would’ve fired him as they still employ Bomani Jones. Fair game on conservatives there. Anyone for free speech and diversity of opinions should be horrified.

    1. Check out the demographics of ESPN, ABC, Disney, and the Hollywood entertainment industry.

      Or the media.

      Or law firms.

      Or social media companies.

      Or tech companies.

      Or the academic and educational establishment.

      Then let me know if you detect, uhh, a little imbalance or lack of diversity, if you will.

      Don’t expect the media to report on these imbalances. The phrase — CONFLICT OF INTEREST — comes to mind.

  2. Now Jeff, if you had called the poor man in the picture that Schilling shared on Facebook “a worthless pile of of shit” you’d be in as much trouble as Schilling was. I don’t understand the double standard. He had an opinion he gets fired for it. You have an opinion about Schilling and attack the guy personally and it’s OK. Is Schilling offended that you called him a pile of shit? I would be. This is all a very slippery slope we are about to go down as a country. I stand by your freedom to say what you want. I also stand by Curt’s.

  3. Now Schilling is free to spread his hate and bigotry, under the guise of “free speech and diversity of opinions”, whenever and where ever he wants without having to worry if it will conflict with his ex-employer’s policies. FOX and/or FOXSports will almost certainly hire him since his views dovetail nicely with theirs. Then, if his views suddenly diverge from theirs, they will fire him also. Your “free speech and diversity of opinions” are always available to you in this country, except when in conflict with employers, or when you’re at a Trump rally.

      1. While I didn’t call him any names, I did describe his behavior, which has been amply demonstrated by the many postings he has made since his ass was summarily kicked out the door. Work on that reading comprehension, Mike, and some day somebody might take you seriously! As always, thanks for playing!

      2. You accused him of hate and bigotry, the hallmarks of Liberal Intolerance.

        My reading comprehension is fine, try English 101 and cease using trite liberal cliches like “hate” and “bigotry” simply because people don’t like your POV.

  4. I find it interesting that in order to make his point, Clay Travis feels compelled to go the “that’s what totalitarian governments do” route. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The First Amendment provides that GOVERNMENT may not legislate the prohibition of free speech. Although the line may be blurred after Citizens’ United, private companies are not “government.” They may, indeed, act against employees who exercise a right to “free speech,” where that exercise is really bad for business, although they may not prohibit the free exercise of religion, like wearing skullcaps or hijabs in the workplace, subject to rules of “accommodation” etc. The right to free speech does not mean the “right” to be totally insulated from non-governmental repercussions from the public exercise of that right. Just ask the Dixie Chicks. Just ask the victims of the deplorable Hollywood “blacklist” of the ’50s and ’60s.

    1. I don’t think liberals would have detested the blacklist so much if it were used against Nazis who helped exterminate Jews.

      1. I suspect you are correct. It always depends on “whose ox is gored.” Speaking of which, I’m still conflicted about Leni Riefenstahl. Nazi fellow-traveler who did as much to help Hitler propaganda-wise as anyone; brilliant and innovative visual artist. Or D.W. Griffith, noxious antisemite and racist, but a pioneer of modern cinema. But that’s beside the point, which is that the right to free speech is not the right to expect no consequences from its exercise, other than from government.

      2. I suspect you are correct. It always depends on “whose ox is gored.” Speaking of which, I’m still conflicted about Leni Riefenstahl. Nazi fellow-traveler who did as much to help Hitler propaganda-wise and anyone; brilliant and innovative visual artist. Or D.W. Griffith, noxious antisemite and racist But that’s beside the point, which is that the right to free speech is not the right to expect no consequences from its exercise, other than from government.

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