Culture Beat / Apr. 21, 2016

Curt Schilling Fired for Thought Crimes

Because “ESPN is an inclusive company.” Or something.

Curt Schilling was fired by ESPN Wednesday for sharing his political beliefs. Earlier this week, Schilling — a baseball analyst and retired pitcher known for his role in breaking the Red Sox’s 86-year World Series curse by pitching through an ankle injury in a bloody sock in the 2004 American League Championship Series — shared a meme that commented on North Carolina’s bathroom law.

The image portrayed an overweight man in a blond wig and a leather mini skirt, and the text read “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die!!!” To that, Schilling added, “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what you 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.”

Schilling has commented on political issues in the past, including endorsing George W. Bush and sharing another meme last year that was originally created by The Patriot Post. Schilling’s outspokenness was known when ESPN hired him. But “ESPN is an inclusive company,” as the company said in a statement. So, naturally, it fired Schilling. Some inclusion not included. ESPN is owned by Disney, which was one of the companies that pressured Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the state’s recent religious liberty bill.

But contrast this to another story of a sports announcer dipping into politics. NBC’s Bob Costas railed against guns and the Redskins team name during broadcasts and he still has his job. It highlights the growing intolerance large corporations have toward dissenting thought.

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