Curt Schilling, the ESPN baseball analyst and former major league pitcher who has expressed controversial opinions about Muslims and Hillary Clinton in the past, stirred up controversy again — this time, by seemingly expressing his stance on transgender issues.
On Monday, Schilling reposted a Facebook image of a man in a wig and tight-fitting, revealing clothes with the words: “Let Him In! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!” The post was deleted, but screengrabs were still created by multiple outlets.
— Outsports (@outsports) April 19, 2016
Schilling was sharing someone else’s message, but he made his feelings clear in a comment beneath the post.
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” Schilling 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”
Schilling presumably was weighing in on the so-called “bathroom laws” currently in place in six states. One such law, which makes it illegal for transgender people to use the restroom of the gender with which they identify, has come under protest in North Carolina. Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam have canceled concerts in the state, although the 2017 NBA All-Star Game remains scheduled to take place in Charlotte, and NFL owners still plan to hold meetings there next month.
In a Tuesday post on his blog, Schilling offered a lengthy explanation when the post drew criticism, writing that “this latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of men’s and women’s restrooms, period.”
I do NOT care what color you are, what race, what sex, who you sleep with, what you wear. I don’t care and I never have. I have opinions, but they’re just that, opinions. And opinions are like buttholes, everyone has one and they usually stink.
You know how I know you ‘offended’ people are full of crap? Because I’m not even close to any of the things you so desperately want me to be, so you can whine.
I’m loud, I talk too much, I think I know more than I do, those and a billion other issues I know I have. Like everyone one of you I have flaws, but I’m ok with my flaws, they’re what make me, me. I thank the Lord for the life I’ve been given. A life interspersed and occupied by men and women who are gay, by people of all races and religions, by men and women who dress as the other, by men and women who’ve changed to women and men. Not one decision I’ve ever made about a person has anything to do with those things I just mentioned, nor will it ever.
You frauds out there ranting and screaming about my ‘opinions’ (even if it isn’t) and comments are screaming for “tolerance” and “acceptance” while you refuse to do and be either.
YOU’RE the ones making it the issue. I don’t care, if you ask me about any of the topics it’s likely (much to the chagrin of many) I’ll answer with my opinion.
Later on Tuesday, ESPN issued this statement: “We are taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of reviewing it.” This is far from Schilling’s first time courting controversy with the network.
The six-time all-star was removed from ESPN’s baseball broadcasts last summer after he shared on Twitter a meme that was superimposed over a photo of Adolph Hitler and read: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” Schilling added, “The math is staggering when you get to true #’s.” He also shared the meme on Facebook, where the original post linked to a video about end times. And Schilling has shared other inflammatory posts about Muslims.
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) April 19, 2016
Last month, Schilling, who has said he thinks being a Republican has helped keep him out of baseball’s Hall of Fame, drew criticism for remarks about Clinton, the current Democratic presidential candidate, saying of her email controversy that she should be “buried under a jail somewhere.” “I hope she does [go to jail],” Schilling said in the radio interview. “If I’m gonna believe, and I don’t have any reason not to believe, that she gave classified information on hundreds if not thousands of emails on a public server after what happened to General Petraeus, she should buried under a jail somewhere.”
Although ESPN reminded employees early this year not to express political opinions in an election year, Schilling was not disciplined and returned to baseball broadcasts this spring. “We are addressing it,” the company said in a statement at the time.
ESPN, which is owned by Disney, presented the transgendered Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY awards last summer.