Curt Schilling, the former Red Sox pitcher, knows a thing or two about mixing it up.

The ESPN commentator doesn’t mind being a lightning rod for his conservative Republican beliefs or his baseball analysis, but he draws the line at what he calls “vulgar and defiling” social media comments about his teenaged daughter. It began innocently enough last week when he tweeted his pride at the news that Gabby would be pitching collegiately next year at Salve Regina.

Greeted by congratulatory replies that turned confrontational and downright skeevy, Schilling lashed out with tweets that only exacerbated the situation because there’s never been a cyberbully or cyberskeeve who couldn’t take his/her game to the next level. It was awful, it was insulting and it was upsetting to Gabby Schilling and her dad wasn’t done defending his “one and only daughter.” In a lengthy post on his 38 pitches blog, he screengrabbed the worst of the comments, many of which are deeply unpleasant. He had a lot to say about social media and being a former jock who suddenly found himself being a regular dad. Saying “it truly is time this stopped,” he wrote:

I’m a Republican
I’m a former Red Sox
I have a nasty habit of talking, a lot, about anything anyone asks me and totally unconcerned about giving you my opinion. You will never question where I stand, right or wrong agree or disagree on anything.
I am completely unafraid to get into a ragging war with anyone. Win or lose I’ll give as good as I get:)
I have zero issues being made fun of. It’s part of living and playing sports your whole life and when you’re built like I am you need to develop a defensive strategy early in life.
So I look at it like this. Democrats, Yankee fans, people that don’t like the sound of my voice, that’s a pretty big group.
Those folks for the most part don’t like me even a little bit.
Democrats for their own reasons, Yankee fans for theirs and the rest of them hate me for who I am or what I say, and that’s not going to change.
The amount of vitriol I’ve heard is not an issue. I am sure I’ll hear more.
But I have to ask, is this even remotely ok? In ANY world? At ANY time?

Whether you like Schilling or loathe him, he’s right on this one because it seems that anything can be said or written about the children of athletes, and celebrities and politicians. Sometimes, the kids have to be covered, whether their parents drag them into the limelight or whether they find it on their own. LeBron James gleefully shares video of his 10-year-old son’s burgeoning basketball prowess. Sometimes, kids get into trouble and must be written about. But there’s just no reason for the kind of nastiness that so many, like the Obama daughters, have drawn. For the people who responded to Schilling, there was the comfort of an anonymity that Schilling was quick to strip away.

This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’re at a point now where you better be sure who you’re going after.
If I was a deranged protective dad I could have been face to face with any of these people in less than 4 hours. I know every one of their names, their parents, where they go to school, what they do, what team they are on, their positions, stats, all of it. I had to do almost nothing to get ANY of that information because it is all public.
What part of talking about a young woman, my daughter or not, makes you even consider the possibility that this is either funny or makes you tough?
I found it rather funny at how quickly tone changed when I heard via email from a few athletes who’d been suspended by their coaches. Gone was the tough guy tweeter, replaced by the “I’m so sorry apology used by those only sorry because they got caught.

Schilling admitted that his daughter might be embarrassed by being dragged into a public discussion. “P.S. Gabby I know you’re likely embarrassed and for that I apologize,” he wrote. “But as we have talked about, there is no situation ever in your life, where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped.”