Earlier this month, former major leaguer and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling went on 610 AM in Kansas City and made a controversial comment about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Schilling said, “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.”
The comment earned Schilling and ESPN plenty of backlash and the sports media company said, “We are addressing it.” A few months prior, ESPN updated its policy for addressing the 2016 presidential election, saying, “We should refrain from political editorializing, personal attacks or ‘drive-by’ comments regarding the candidates and their campaigns.”
Schilling seemed at peace with the possibility he might lose his job, but Vocativ is reporting that ESPN confirmed Schilling will remain on the Monday Night Baseball team.
This is not the first time Schilling has landed in hot water. Last September, ESPN removed him from coverage of the Little League World Series and Sunday Night Baseball after making a Tweet that compared Muslims to Nazis. But to be fair to Schilling, it hasn’t been all bad. Last March, he valiantly stood up for his daughter, who was receiving some vicious comments online.
I’ve given Curt Schilling a lot of crap in the past, but I have to tip my cap to him here.
Many people are passing this around, but I saw it via Meg Rowley of Lookout Landing and Baseball Prospectus. It’s from the public listing of federal campaign contributors. Schilling, not surprisingly, has made donations to political campaigns in the past.
In 2008, while still an active player, he donated to the McCain campaign and listed “Boston Red Sox” as his employer. This past January he donated a small amount to Ben Carson’s campaign and listed “ESPN” as his employer. That makes sense.
Last September, however, right on the heels of his suspension in the wake of his controversial social media habits, he was a bit more specific. Check out the middle one:
I’m still not Curt Schilling’s greatest off-the-field fan, but I always retain some goodwill for people who have a sense of humor about stuff. Kudos to Schilling for being zen about his job status.
Yesterday we heard Curt Schilling say that Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere,” and then we learned that ESPN was “addressing” the matter. What that means is unclear. In the past ESPN has looked the other way at some of Schilling’s controversial comments while punishing him for others.
Schilling himself, however, suspects that if ESPN does take any action over this that it will be his firing.
This is from his Facebook interaction with someone late last night, commenting on the story that ESPN was addressing the matter. I’ve not screen-capped the people with whom he was speaking because they’re not public people and their comments aren’t necessary to understand Schilling’s comments, but as of this moment you can see the entire conversation on Schilling’s public Facebook page:
The person to whom he was speaking then suggests that ESPN may suspend him for a period of perhaps 90 days. Schilling counters:
Schilling knows the dynamic between he and his employer better than anyone, it should be assumed. Maybe he’s being dramatic. Maybe he knows he’s on a short leash. I suppose we’ll soon know.
Either way, Schilling has said far worse things than offering his opinion that a leading presidential candidate should be dead and buried. One would assume, however, that at some point the issue with ESPN is not the specific thing that Schilling says but the cumulative nature of his controversial statements. No straw weighs particularly much, after all, but at some point one additional one breaks the camel’s back.