Archived: Curt Schilling Fired Following Anti-Transgender Remarks

Curt Schilling, an ESPN analyst and former Boston Red Sox pitcher, was fired Wednesday after posting anti-transgender comments on his Facebook page, ESPN announced.

Schilling shared on his Facebook page a picture of a man wearing a blond wig and a cut up shirt leaving his chest exposed. The text on the picture reads, “Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!”

In response to the post, Schilling wrote, “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.”

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In a statement, ESPN said, “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

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Schilling declined to comment through a spokesperson. But he had written a blog post on Tuesday called “The hunt to be offended” that defended his actions and denied that he posted the picture at all.

“YOU’RE the ones making it the issue,” he wrote. “I don’t care, if you ask me about any of the topics it’s likely (much to the chagrin of many) I’ll answer with my opinion.

“There are things I have deeply held beliefs in, things I have that are core to who I am, things I am passionate about. If you ask me about them it’s likely I’ll give you a passionate answer, whether you like that answer or not is completely up to you. I am not going to give you answers to make sure you like what I say, let the rest of the insecure world do that.”

Schilling’s comments come at a time when transgender rights are at the forefront. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed House Bill 1523, allowing businesses to legally discriminate against any member of the LGBT community on the grounds of “religious freedom.” And in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed House Bill 2, requiring “every single multiple occupancy bathroom or changing facility to be designated for and only used by persons based on their biological sex” preventing transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identities.

Recently, mayors from around the country united together in retaliation against North Carolina and Mississippi. They have banned government officials from their cities from any nonessential travel to either state, and they are seeking to stop doing business with companies based in either state.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Schilling appeared on a Boston-based radio show and said, “To be in a place where people actually believe I’m a racist or I’m transphobic says to me that something has gone horribly askew somewhere.”

This is not the first time Schilling has stirred up controversy for his discriminatory behavior on social media. In August he posted on Twitter his belief that extremist Muslims are comparable to Nazis. He included a photo of Hitler in the tweet. ESPN called the move “unacceptable” and removed him from an upcoming position to call a Little League World Series game.

At the time, Schilling said, “I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.”

His latest blog post mentioned the tweet from last year, though, and blamed the media for exaggerating what he said rather than take blame for what he posted. “I don’t dislike or hate Muslims, or people of the Islamic faith,” he wrote. “Ask my friends that are both. But then again you all knew that, but when you omit the word extremist [from the tweet] you create a person that doesn’t exist and have a story with traction, even if it is a complete lie.”

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Schilling is yet another public figure who lost his job following discriminatory comments on social media. Earlier this month Wendy Bell, a Pittsburgh-based news anchor, was fired after taking to Facebook to stereotype two wanted gunmen as “young Black men, likely in their teens or early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs.”

And in two separate incidents in March, an EMS captain in Cleveland was fired after posting he was happy that 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot by a police officer, was dead, and an Ohio police officer was fired for writing on Facebook regarding the suicide of a young Black Lives Matter Activist, “Love a happy ending.”

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