ESPN announced Wednesday night it has fired outspoken baseball analyst and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling after his reposting of a meme widely interpreted as anti-transgender on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated,” the network said in a statement.
The meme showed a picture of a male character wearing a wig and women’s clothing, with the caption, “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 image has since been removed from Schilling’s Facebook page, but not before it was captured by many in a screen shot.
Schilling addressed the controversy on his personal blog later Tuesday in an entry entitled, “The hunt to be offended....”
“This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious,” he wrote. “I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.”
(When he says he didn’t post the picture, Schilling might be trying to distinguish between posting an item and sharing an item; the latter is technically what he appears to have done.)
He also wrote: “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.”
The 2001 World Series co-most valuable player (when he played for Arizona) has gotten in trouble before by expressing his opinions. He was dropped from ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series in August and then suspended for the rest of the Major League Baseball season for tweeting a meme that compared Muslims to Nazis.
Back in March, Schilling appeared to have violated ESPN’s guidelines for election coverage by stating that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere” during a radio interview. ESPN said it addressed the matter with Schilling and allowed him to be part of its “Monday Night Baseball” broadcasts as planned.