ESPN baseball analyst and former Major League pitcher Curt Schilling was fired from his role at the network Wednesday for “unacceptable conduct” after sharing an offensive anti-transgender meme on his Facebook page in response to the North Carolina “Bathroom Bill.”
The often outspoken Schilling, who has appeared in studio for ESPN since 2010, regularly posts his conservative views on social media and appears on right wing broadcasts. Last month he told a Kansas City radio station that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere” if she’s found guilty in her ongoing email saga.Schilling’s post Tuesday showed a man wearing a blonde wig and provocative, cut up clothing next to the words, “Let Him In! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who need to die!!!”
With the share, Schilling included his own commentary. “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” he wrote. “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.” The North Carolina bill HB2 restricts people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t correspond with genders assigned at birth.
Schilling didn’t do himself any favors Wednesday when he defended his commentary on his blog, saying that “this latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly picture,” he wrote. “I made a comment about the basic functionality of men’s and women’s restrooms, period.” He also told a Boston radio station that he replied to the post, instead of posting it, and added, “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.”
The network issued a short statement following the dismissal: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
This isn’t the first time Schilling’s views have gotten the former Red Sox pitcher in trouble with ESPN.
While preparing to cover the Little League World Series last August, Schilling was suspended for a tweet that compared extremist Muslims to Nazis, and included an image of Adolf Hitler. Schilling quickly deleted the tweet and apologized, saying it was 100 percent his fault and adding, “Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.” Schilling took no such blame Wednesday and has instead been sharing fan support on his Facebook page.