Curt Schilling was recently taken off ESPN broadcasts for the Little League World Series and Sunday Night Baseball as a result of a tweet which compared Muslims to Nazis. The expectation was that he would only miss one week of Sunday Night Baseball and return this coming Sunday, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, he’s done for the remainder of the season at the very least.
Here’s the announcement from ESPN:
At all times during the course of their engagement with us, our commentators are directly linked to ESPN and are the face of our brand. We are a sports media company. Curt’s actions have not been consistent with his contractual obligations nor have they been professionally handled; they have obviously not reflected well on the company. As a result, he will not appear on ESPN through the remainder of the regular season and our Wild Card playoff game.
ESPN presumably changed their minds on Schilling after his email exchange with Dan Levy was posted on Awful Announcing this week.
It’s unclear what this announcement means for Jessica Mendoza, who filled in for Schilling on Sunday Night Baseball this past Sunday, alongside Dan Shulman and John Kruk.
Curt Schilling has had a bad week, but even he doesn’t deserve this: Sarah Palin coming out, firing with both barrels in defense of him and against ESPN.
On a Facebook post she ranted about ESPN suspending Schilling. It’s as entertaining as always. I’m glad she never became Vice President, but God love that woman for the amusement she has so often provided. I was particularly enamored with her close, which is near and dear to my heart as people tell me this all the time:
By denying the accuracy of Schilling’s tweet, ESPN shows its weakness as it buys into the propaganda of ISIS and other terror organizations, helping mislead the public about the very real threat of terrorism. It shows once again that ESPN would rather concentrate on liberal global politics instead of report well on our beloved sports.
From those of us who used to LOVE the network (to the point of addiction, some would confess!), I say to ESPN – you are awful in this. Stick to sports.
“Stick to sports.” Always a winner. But in this case, probably good advice! For Schilling anyway. For if he had stuck to sports, he’d be calling Sunday Night’s Cubs-Dodgers game.
This has been quite a week for ESPN baseball broadcasting. On Monday Jessica Mendoza became the first woman to broadcast a Major League Baseball game for the network. On Tuesday, Curt Schilling tweeted out some obnoxious stuff comparing Muslims to Nazis. On Wednesday Schilling was taken off of this week’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.
Thesis, antithesis, synthesis:
Damn you, ESPN! I had pledged to boycott “Sunday Night Baseball” because it has become almost unwatchable. And now you’re doing something to make me WANT to watch it.
It’s as if they don’t even know what their mission is anymore.
Curt Schilling was originally taken off of the Little League World Series telecast for his Nazi/Muslims tweet yesterday. Many, your dear author included, thought that was a tad light. Others wonder how ESPN even continues to employ a guy who seems far more interested in stirring up political stuff than being a baseball analyst.
ESPN is having second thoughts about all of this as well:
This is presumably just this week. But now Schilling has all the time in the world to post things to social media, so maybe just give it time. He’s never been anything less than a top competitor.
Dan Patrick knows ESPN better than just about anyone. And he wants to know why ESPN puts up with Curt Schilling given his tendency to step in it all the damn time:
In some of his many roles, Dan Patrick’s corporate overlords are my own corporate overlords. And Patrick talks about this when asked if anyone has ever told him, as a prominent face of the company, to back off political stuff. His answer is sort of refreshing in that (a) he’s not been given any diktats over such things and likely wouldn’t be until something came up; and (b) it’s basically the same way NBC has treated little old unimportant me about such things too.
No one has ever told me to stay away from politics. But there is an unsaid and quite reasonable expectation, I sense, that (a) if I DO mess up, Schilling-style, I’m in big trouble; and (b) dude, at least make sure it has SOME connection to what we’re paying you for, Which I think I do for the most part.
All of which is to say that, in my experience and Dan Patrick’s experience and, I suspect, Curt Schilling’s experience, we’ve been given some latitude and respect and trust that we’re not gonna throw bombs and say outlandish things. But as Patrick notes, Schilling has crossed that line several times. Will ESPN continue to accept that? I’m not sure how they can.