Curt Schilling Criticizes ESPN, Says He's Not Transphobic and Calls Springsteen a Hypocrite
The former MLB pro called the network a "company where the rules are different based completely and solely on your perspective and your beliefs."
Days after being fired by ESPN for posting an anti-transgender meme on his Facebook page, Curt Schilling is speaking out in his defense.
During an interview Friday morning on SiriusXM, the former MLB pitcher told show host Stephen K. Bannon he is not a bigot.
“I’m not transphobic, I’m not homophobic," Schilling said. "As long as you’re not sleeping with my wife, I don’t care who you sleep with."
He added, "If in my past I’d ever been a racist or I had ever said something racist, or if I had ever been transphobic or homophobic, somebody somewhere would have said something I’m sure given my status.”
When the network fired Schilling, who was working as a baseball analyst, a spokesman said "ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
Schilling said he did not need to work for ESPN for financial reasons, so he was OK sharing his opinions freely, like he did with the meme.
“If that job meant I had to continue doing it to put a roof over the head of my family and food on the table, I’m probably acting a little differently than I did," Schilling said. "In the sense that I get it, a lot of people can’t or won’t jeopardize what they do for a living to be and espouse the things that they believe and are. I’m not that guy. I'm not dependent on other people to support my family for the rest of my life."
Schilling called ESPN a "company where the rules are different based completely and solely on your perspective and your beliefs, [sharing opinions] didn’t work. They didn’t like that.”
Schilling said in his opinion, men should not be in women's restrooms, but "I don't think anything differently about people because of that opinion. If you disagree with me, that's fine."
In the radio interview, Schilling went so far as to say that he would be OK if his son were transgender.
"If my sixteen-year-old son came home tomorrow and said to me 'Dad, I want to be a woman,' I would be disappointed," Schilling said. "But I wouldn’t care. I would not feel any differently about him. I would not love him any less. I would actually be proud of the fact that he’s trying to be true to himself. Even if I don’t agree with whatever it is that’s happening, I’m good with that."
Schilling said he doesn't like to make people feel bad about themselves, calling the notion "cowardly."
The former pitcher also had some choice words for Bruce Springsteen, who recently canceled a concert in North Carolina in protest over the state's recently passed legislation requiring transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their born gender.
"Hypocrisy — I don’t’ think it’s ever been as rampant as it is today," Schilling said. "And that makes me mad in a way. Bruce Springsteen, this guy is a hero for some reason, right? I mean, he canceled the concert in North Carolina over this bill. Is he going to cancel all of his concerts forever in Italy where same-sex marriage is against the law? Or in the Middle East where they behead and execute people that aren’t heterosexual. Or is this just a stance of convenience where ‘Yeah, I can skip North Carolina and people love me for doing it’.”