Last week, ESPN had another stick thrown into its baseball card-emblazoned spokes when MLB analyst Curt Schilling caused an Internet stink over the gender-based bathroom law currently making headlines everywhere. The network’s response was to fire Schilling, and if you know how generally outspoken the former pitcher can be, then you were already anticipating his verbal blowback over getting canned. Well, it happened, and Schilling pulled few punches when calling ESPN out for being hypocritically liberal while putting other analysts on blast.
Curt Schilling, who wears his conservative leanings like he wore baseball jerseys, has been the target of a lot of name-calling over the years, both on and off of social media, for getting his opinions out there. And as a guest on the SiriusXM program Breitbart News Patriot Forum, Schilling waved the “double standard” flag, saying that ESPN only ever reacted harshly to any on-air talent’s opinions when they were of a conservative nature, and that liberal digressions were never cast in the same kind of negative light.
ESPN sent out several memos that Schilling said directed analysts to stay on the topic of sports without going elsewhere, but he says that never really applied to anyone giving liberal viewpoints. According to Newsday, he even got specific about a couple of instances after the radio show had finished taping.
As you can imagine, ESPN hasn’t come out with any statements on the matter. Because it’s not about sports, probably.
There are lots of instances where analysts bringing up life outside of sports makes sense and can add context that might not be so obvious otherwise. Especially when popular athletes are involved in non-sports situations. But as far as where to draw the line for political meandering during those off-topic comments, that’s way above my paygrade. But it’s right at somebody’s paygrade at ESPN, and that person is getting some mighty big dagger-stares from one Curt Schilling.
We probably won’t hear any disparaging thoughts going public like this from others leaving ESPN, like Skip Bayless or Mike Tirico. But to be a fly on the wall when they do bring the skeletons out of the closet.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.