this Aug. 3, 2012, file photo, former Boston Red Sox
pitcher Curt Schilling looks on after being
introduced as a new member of the Boston Red Sox
Hall of Fame before a baseball game between the Red
Sox and the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park in
Boston. Schilling is defending himself after making
comments on social media about transgender people,
saying he was expressing his opinion.
Curt Schilling helped the
Boston Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought and
then immediately started squandering the goodwill he had
Even before the celebratory
champagne could go flat, Schilling irritated Democrats in
presidential candidate John Kerry's home state — many of
them Red Sox fans — by blurting out on national TV,
"Vote Bush." He toyed with public office himself
in 2009 after U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy died, a plan that
was complicated because, as an unenrolled voter, Schilling
would have had to run as an independent.
That was the essence of the
pitcher known in Boston as "The Big Schill":
Outspoken, controversial, supremely confident in his
opinions in the moment only to realize soon enough that he
hadn't quite thought things through.
On Wednesday, Schilling was
fired from his job as an ESPN baseball analyst after
comments on Facebook critical of transgender rights.
The post included an image
of a man wearing a long blond wig and revealing women's
clothing and the phrase, "Let him in! To the restroom
with your daughter or else you're a narrow minded,
judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to
In response to recent laws
in several states that restrict bathroom access for
transgender people, Schilling added: "A man is a man
no matter what they call themselves," and, "Now
you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic."
The network, which
suspended Schilling from the Little League World Series
last year over a tweet in which he compared Muslim
extremists to Nazi-era Germans, said Wednesday night that
he had been fired.
"ESPN is an inclusive
company," the network said in a statement. "Curt
Schilling has been advised that his conduct was
unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been
The 49-year-old Schilling,
did not immediately respond to a text message sent to the
telephone number he had when he pitched for the Red Sox.
But he wrote on his blog on Tuesday that his critics were
"just dying to be offended so you can create some
sort of faux cause to rally behind."
"There are things I
have deeply held beliefs in, things I have that are core
to who I am, things I am passionate about. If you ask me
about them it's likely I'll give you a passionate
answer," he wrote. "Whether you like that answer
or not is completely up to you. I am not going to give you
answers to make sure you like what I say, let the rest of
the insecure world do that."
An undisputed workhorse on
the pitcher's mound, Schilling had a 216-146 record in a
20-year career with five teams, adding a .846 playoff
winning percentage that is among the best in baseball
history. He became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame
in 2013 and this year, his fourth on the ballot, he
received more than half of the votes but far short of the
75 percent needed for induction.
A year earlier, Schilling
accused the members of the Baseball Writers Association of
America who vote for the Hall of holding it against him
because he is a Republican. He later said he was joking.
It's a common pattern.
His strident criticism of
steroid users earned him an invitation to a congressional
hearing, but when called to testify, Schilling said:
"The issue was grossly overstated by people,
Still, two years later he
called out Barry Bonds for using performance-enhancing
drugs, saying as the slugger approached baseball's career
home run record: "He admitted to cheating on his
wife, cheating on his taxes and cheating on the
The next day, Schilling
"Everyone has days and
events in life they'd love to push the rewind button on,
yesterday was one of those days," he wrote on the
blog that was a must-read during his days in Boston.
More significantly: He
bankrupted his video game business, putting nearly 300
people out of work, after burning through $75 million in
loans guaranteed by Rhode Island. To satisfy his
creditors, he auctioned off the contents of his home.
Schilling blamed state
officials for pulling the plug prematurely.
If he was chastened by any
of it, he isn't letting it show.
"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," he wrote on the blog
this week after his transgender comments went viral.
"Like everyone one of you I have flaws, but I'm ok
with my flaws, they're what make me, me."