Curt Schilling, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and a six-time MLB all-star, has been fired by ESPN. Schilling, whose pitching career ended in 2007, had worked for the network since 2010 as a baseball commentator. Never one to shy away from expressing his personal opinions on political issues, Schilling finally went too far when he posted a transphobic meme to Facebook in response to North Carolina’s recent bathroom law.
In a statement to the Washington Post, ESPN confirmed Schilling’s controversial comments were the reason for his termination: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable, and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
The meme, which Schilling defended on his personal blog as “a comment about the basic functionality of mens [sic] and womens [sic] restrooms, period,” showed an overweight man in a wig and women’s clothing with the caption, “Let him in! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”
Schilling added a caption that read:
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.
This isn’t the first time Schilling’s social-media outbursts have gotten him in trouble. Back in August, he was suspended for a month after he compared radical Muslims to Nazis on Twitter. (During his absence, ESPN replaced him with Jessica Mendoza on its Sunday night telecasts, and Schilling took over Monday night upon his return.) Then, during a radio interview in March, he said Hillary Clinton "should be buried under a jail somewhere" for using her private email server as secretary of State, violating an ESPN policy on commentary regarding the presidential election.
But, according to his blog, Schilling doesn’t see what the big deal is. “This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious,” he said. “I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. You frauds out there ranting and screaming about my ‘opinions’ (even if it isn’t) and comments are screaming for ‘tolerance’ and ’acceptance’ while you refuse to do and be either.”