Curt Schilling, the former baseball pitcher and ESPN broadcaster best known to readers of this site for promoting Creationism, comparing 5-10% of Muslims to Nazis, and (just this week) posting the offensive meme below on Facebook, has finally been fired by ESPN.
Alongside that meme, which he has since deleted from his Facebook page, Schilling added:
“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.”
ESPN decided that was the last straw. Schilling had been suspended last fall over private commentary that went far beyond mere conservatism and wandered into hate speech — not because of his bigotry, per se, but because it reflected poorly on the company. That didn’t stop him from continuing to be a public asshole. Even yesterday, Schilling defended his postings, lashing out at those who dared to be offended by it.
Just to point out the obvious, this isn’t about free speech. Schilling has every right to say and believe whatever he wants. No one’s arresting him for it. Hell, there are people who share his views who may very well become President soon.
Schilling doesn’t have the right, however, to be shielded from the consequences of his actions. And when you say ignorant, offensive things, there’s bound to be pushback. ESPN is under no obligation to keep him under contract.
He may say this is an over-the-top reaction by his politically correct bosses. But that’s only justified if Schilling was saying something “correct” to begin with. He wasn’t.
So good riddance. I’m sure a call from Fox News asking him to be a commentator is just around the corner, but at least for now, we can rejoice in the fact that ESPN has finally done what many have been demanding for months.