Weeks after ESPN fired him over a controversial Facebook post regarding North Carolina’s transgender “bathroom bill,” former baseball analyst Curt Schilling has plenty left to share about his old employer
The onetime MLB ace was a guest on NBC Sports’ “The Dan Patrick Show” Monday, where he gave an unfiltered account of his frustrations with the company, accusing ESPN of being “bigoted and intolerant” toward conservatives like himself.
“The only irony in this for me is that a company that is outwardly bigoted and intolerant is calling itself inclusive,” Schilling told host Dan Patrick.
When asked to elaborate, Schilling cited a memo that was sent out to ESPN employees asking them not to discuss political issues. He noted, however, that when other on-air personalities made anti-Republican or or anti-conservative comments, no punishment resulted:
They sent out memos, “Listen, we want our sports people on-air talent to stick to sports, stay away from politics and the other stuff.” … The next thing, Stephen A. Smith tells the world Robert Griffin can’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he is black, not because he sucks, which it was because he sucks. Then you got [Dan] Le Batard and you got Tony Kornheiser comparing the Tea Party to ISIS. So, I think what the memo meant to say was, “If you’re not liberal and you’re not a Democrat, do not stray from sports.” … The other thing that really jumped out at me was people would talk — you know, the green room where everybody hangs out, it’s the ESPN version of the locker room — a lot of times people would be like, they would come up to me and whisper, “Hey man, I’m with ya, I’m a Republican,” as if we were the secret card-carrying members of some group that couldn’t be, the “those who shall not be named.” The inclusiveness is inclusive as long as you are pointing in the same direction.
The former Red Sox pitcher shared with Patrick that he was making $2.5 million per year at ESPN.
“Have you ever known me to sit back and think ‘Well, wait. Before I say this, let me measure it out and make sure it will be received in the way it should be received’?” he stated. “I’m not a measured speaker. I never have been.”
The media personality was previously suspended by ESPN for posting a meme on Twitter that read, “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”
Schilling seemed confident that ESPN knew about his strong, opinionated personality and hired him knowing that he would say things “that went against the grain” from time to time.
After being fired last month for sharing a Facebook post in response to the controversial North Carolina law barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex, Schilling called the decision a bad choice, noting that it was “100% my fault.”
Following Schilling’s departure, ESPN issued this statement: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
This is not the first time Schilling has blasted ESPN for feigning tolerance and inclusivity. After he was fired, Schilling appeared on “Breitbart News Patriot Forum” on SiriusXM, where he criticized the folks at ESPN for being “some of the biggest racists” on air.