This isn’t the first time ESPN analyst and former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling has used his media platform to put his bloody sock in his mouth and offend someone.
The 2001 Sports Illustrated co-Sportsman of the Year has a history of engaging in controversial Twitter conversations and making politically-charged statements that make you do a double take.
In November he debated other users on the subject of evolution. He also has made intriguing statements like telling a Boston radio station that he hasn't been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame because he is a Republican.
These comments were just the warm up for his future career as a big-mouth antagonist.
In July, he stepped up his game. The six-time All-Star went on ESPN's Mike and Mike and questioned the character of deceased Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, one of the most revered African-American athletes in Minnesota sports history. Schilling doesn’t just take shots at dead guys, he’s moved on to insulting entire religions and races of people.
Keeping with the Donald Trump-inspired platform of the newer, more intolerable Republican Party – a platform that consists of saying the most racially-charged, divisive, disrespectful, outdated and outlandish things through media or public forum – Schilling became a trending topic on Twitter Tuesday after sharing a meme comparing Muslims to Nazis, and featuring Adolf Hitler’s image. The text was superimposed of a red-tinted photo of the legendary genocide king.
"It's said ONLY 5-10% of Muslims are extremists," the meme said. "In 1940, ONLY 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"
Schilling commented "The math is staggering when you get to true #'s."
Schilling deleted the tweet a few minutes later after Twitter users started bringing him the ruckus about his tweet and he also took it off his Facebook page.
ESPN (as they always do when one of their highly-paid talking heads actually expresses a genuine opinion) as expected, swooped in and condemned Schilling's tweet in a statement, saying the 2001 World Series MVP would no longer cover the Little League World Series.
"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," the network said. "We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration."
Schilling was also suspended from his duties on Baseball Tonight and the station hasn’t said when he will return.
Initially, Schilling tried to defend his position and bully his way through the situation a la Donald Trump. Trump also made news this week when the Republican presidential front-runner (WTF??) clashed with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos at a press conference in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, leading to the journalist’s temporary removal from the event.
“Sit down, you weren’t called. Go back to Univision,” Trump said as Ramos tried to ask a question that the candidate saw as being out of turn. Trump continued to shut down the Mexican-American journalist, leading Ramos to be escorted out of the room by security. Trump’s campaign is feeding off of the deepest and darkest insecurities and racial fears of right wing Americans, even causing a division within the party itself. Schilling’s lack of racial sensitivity and vocal ideologies have been challenged and questioned for some time now. He couldn't philosophize his way out of this one though.
"I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part," Schilling tweeted after the suspension. Of course, he has to apologize. He’s costing his employer money and making them look like a haven for right-wing crusaders with no middle ground.
Like Trump, Schilling has expressed an ideology laced in racism, their own version of extreme politics and inflammatory yapping.
When Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz and Craig Biggio were voted into the Hall of Fame this year, Schilling – whose numbers exceed Smoltz's in most categories was asked if he understood why Smoltz received 240 more votes than he did on the 2015 ballot.
“I think he got them because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine,” Schilling said on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show. “The fact that they won 14 straight pennants I think... his Swiss Army knife versatility... I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that and he's a Hall of Famer so … and I think the other big thing is, I think he's a Democrat, and so...,” Schilling said chuckling a bit. “I know that as a Republican that there's some people that really don't like that.”
Shortly after the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, Schilling was a vocal proponent of former President George W. Bush and was happy as a hog in a dung pit when he endorsed Bush on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and agreed to make campaign appearances on behalf of the president which infuriated many Democrats in Red Sox Nation. At the time, Schilling closed out the interview by telling GMA host Charlie Gibson: “And make sure you tell everybody to vote, and vote Bush next week.”
With the arrival of President Obama in 2008, most Americans hoped that the George Bush mentality and approach to running a country was a thing of the past. If anything, Obama has been more sensitive to the needs and injustices perpetrated upon the poor, well-intentioned immigrants, minorities, women and the huge gay population in this country.
What makes guys like Schilling dangerous is that they have a huge sports platform to spew twisted and bigoted religious, social and political views. His recent “true colors moment” falls in line with the venomous, divisive hate that’s being spread by Trump and other Republican Party supporters.
The party’s main goal seems to be to separate a country Obama strived to bring together by splitting it along ideological, financial and racial lines.
Denouncing, destroying and disrespecting any group of color or misfortune seems to be the flow too. If you disagree just take a listen to cats like Trump and Schilling and the way they are drawing definitive sides and taking intolerable, unwavering stances about their visions for this country.
Makes you think that Schilling must have hated playing with Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and those guys. What if a player with Muslim beliefs played on Schilling's MLB squad when he was tossing peas? He might have refused to take the field the way some Dodgers and opposing players did the first time Jackie Robinson hit the scene.
Schilling insists that "I don't have a racist bone in my body" even if he does value and proudly flaunt his collection of Nazi memorabilia.
At the very least, as reported by www.sportingnews.com:
Schilling has an established track record of remarks and off-colored jokes that some find quite offensive. But...his defense to those who take offense is that he cannot help if others are too thin-skinned.
Schilling’s claim about never doing anything to offend surely caught a number of Latinos by surprise. Latino baseball fans recall Schilling mocking a Latino accent saying “Baseball’s been very, very good to me” while Sammy Sosa was being interviewed on-air during the 2002 Home Run Derby. That public mocking, the tendency of those like Schilling to make fun of Latino players communicating in English, contributes to the trepidation that so many Latinos in baseball (and beyond) feel about speaking publicly in their second language.
The most recent posting of Schilling’s comparing Muslims and Nazis is not the first time he ventured into potentially offensive areas, this documented in an SBNation article . A number of Schilling’s recent postings on social media included one about an entrepreneur in Afghanistan who was raking in the dough after inventing prayer mats that were actually land mines.
That Schilling found humorous the indiscriminate killing of any Muslim (not just those deemed radical Islamists) observing their religious practice of prayer is cast into a different light when one recalls what transpired in Charleston, S.C. this past June. Lest we forget that is when neo-Nazi sympathizer Dylann Roof attended a gathering at an African-American church and opened fire, leaving nine Christian worshippers dead
We’d all be better served if ESPN just refused to have him back. He doesn’t want to be a voice in the all-inclusive world of professional athletics. He should be doing political commentary on FOX, that way he can wear his mask and hood in plain sight and not cloaked in the reverence and legitimacy of a former World Series hero.