After trying repeated slaps on the wrist for previous wrongdoings, ESPN finally fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling last week for yet another offensive post on social media, this time targeting transgender people.
Schilling spoke out a few days after his termination, but the commentary was generally vague and of the “didn’t see eye-to-eye” variety.
That sounded like a reserved answer then, and it definitely sounds like one now. Appearing on Sirius XM Radio on Wednesday, Schilling fired back at the World Wide Leader by claiming it employs some of the “biggest racists in sports commentating.” Via the Washington Post:
“Some of the most racist things that I’ve ever heard come out of people that are on the air at ESPN.
“There are some of the biggest racists in sports commentating, and you take it for what it is,” the 49-year-old continued. “You know who they are, you know what they are. I like that they are open because then you know who they are. You know that they exist.”
Be that as it may, ESPN, a Disney company, shares values of being inclusive and what Schilling posted about transgender people was anything but. While no one is forced to share ESPN’s views personally, the company can fire its employees (and did so here) if it lashes out against those views.
In Schilling’s case, he did so numerous times without serious consequences. When he opted to try his luck one more time, his employer took action.
Still, in Schilling’s view, ESPN’s brand of punishment hasn’t been consistent across the board:
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.
Never mind that ESPN has suspended Smith in the past for things he’s said on-air. At this point, though, name dropping appears to be Schilling’s last defense.
Schilling has every right to be bigoted and narrow-minded, just as we have every right to call him on it. But if he’s going to stay that way, deflecting now only makes him look worse. He posted those memes. Nobody else — even if they agreed with it privately.
(Via the Washington Post)