NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Curt Schilling claims that “some of the biggest racists in sports commentating” work at ESPN.
The former pitcher, who was fired as a baseball analyst by the network after posting an anti-transgender meme on Facebook, made the comments Thursday morning before the “Breitbart News Patriot Forum.”
“Some of the most racist things that I’ve ever heard come out of people that are on the air at ESPN. There are some of the biggest racists in sports commentating, and you take it for what it is. You know who they are. You know what they are,” the three-time World Series champion said. “I like that they are openly because then you know who they are. You know that they exist.”
Schilling said the network only came down on those who went “off topic” with a conservative point-of-view.
“It was apparent to me early on that if you wanted to go off topic as a sportsperson, you had to go off topic left or you were going to get into trouble,” Schilling said.
Schilling said some ESPN co-workers would quietly tell him they agreed on his political views.
“We had the green room in ESPN, which I kind of turned it into a locker room where everything was on the table, you could make fun of anybody’s mom and all the things that go with that, like in a baseball locker room,” he said. “But I had people come up to me and go, ‘Hey, I’m with you. I’m a Republican, too.’ But they had to whisper. It was like a deadly serious thing.”
When asked by Newsday to clarify his remarks following the show, Schilling brought up the names of ESPN talent Stephen A. Smith and Tony Kornheiser.
“The memo that was sent out more than once was about they wanted on-air talent to focus on sports. To me that means focus on sports unless you want to talk about something that is part of the liberal agenda,” Schilling told Newsday.
He continued, “You listen to Stephen A. Smith, and Stephen A. Smith was the guy who said that Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he’s black. No, Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he [stunk].
“Tony Kornheiser compared the Tea Party to ISIS. I don’t know any planet where those are sports topics. But I don’t care. It’s OK. I think those conversations need to happen. But as soon as you go to the flip side, the right side, there are repercussions for not talking about sports.”
“ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated,” the network said in a statement.
Schilling shared a post showing a man in a wig, wearing a tight shirt, skirt and stockings 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!!!”
In a comment underneath the post, Schilling said, “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
Last year, ESPN suspended Schilling for an anti-Muslim tweet.
Earlier this year, Schilling said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail.”
Schilling had worked for ESPN since 2010.