Curt Schilling will always be a great baseball player, and nothing can change that. But he most certainly will not always be an ESPN analyst, effective immediately. The network cut ties with the controversial analyst after, get this, some of his commentary on a hot button issue blew up the Internet, in this case over the discriminatory bathroom law several states are getting blasted over. It won’t his last inflammatory viewpoint, but it will be the last one ESPN will get pressured about. Its pop-up of a statement:
ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.
Here’s how it went down. Now-former MLB analyst and commentator Curt Schilling recently shared a since-deleted meme that shined a negative light on the trans community, and though the image would have been bad enough, it was his own thoughts added to the post that really drew out his detractors.
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.
After having had enough of the online lashing, Schilling then took to his blog to address everyone who was offended by his words. Predictably, he wasn’t trying to win over any new fans with that post, kicking things off harshly enough before getting into a more balanced argument for his case. And it’s not clear exactly when the switch flipped in an ESPN exec’s head to take Schilling out of the picture entirely, but this was clearly the last straw.
There have been quite a few straws over the years that could have been the last one, too. Schilling was suspended last year after tweeting an image drawing comparisons between Muslims and Nazis, which many thought was too light a punishment, though he then got a longer suspension after he posted more thoughts on the matter. Both before and after that incident, Schilling shared all kinds of opinions targeted at others that didn’t get any flak from ESPN, such as saying Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail somewhere” and joking about being fired on a donation to Ben Carson.
Times have been tough for ESPN’s public image. The past year saw things get uncomfortable between the network and the outspoken Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons, both of whom later left the network. (Simmons hasn’t backed away from 106477.html> bashing his former employer, either.) The ratings have been problematic across different fronts, and there have been other controversial stories not doing the network any justice. Perhaps this will be the last situation for a while.