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.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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