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.
Some of the most racist things I’ve ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN. They’re some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.
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.
You listen to Stephen A. Smith, and Stephen A. Smith was the guy who said that Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he’s black. No, Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he [stunk]…Tony Kornheiser compared the Tea Party to ISIS. I don’t know any planet where those are sports topics. But I don’t care. It’s OK. I think those conversations need to happen. But as soon as you go to the flip side, the right side, there are repercussions for not talking about sports.
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.