Curt Schilling, never one to shy away from an opinion, dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to express a few more. He discussed several topics, including his April firing from ESPN for posting social media content offensive to the transgender community.
“We work for corporations – I did, anyway – that’s insanely liberal,” Schilling said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “If you’re going to talk about something outside of the boundaries of sports, it has to be a pro-liberal opinion. That’s their right as a company. People are talking about my first amendment. My first amendment didn’t get hurt. I have the freedom of speech. I didn’t yell fire in a movie theater. I voiced a conservative opinion, and I got fired for it. That’s their right to do that. But when they follow that up with ESPN is an inclusive company, which is a flat-out lie, those are the things that kind of piss me off and bother me a little bit.”
Gottlieb understands what it’s like to receive backlash for a comment. During March Madness coverage in 2013, he jokingly told Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Greg Anthony that he was there to “bring diversity to the set” and “give the white man’s perspective.”
Some people have may have laughed at home, but on set? Crickets.
“You didn’t spout off a belief,” Schilling pointed out. “You made a joke. I wasn’t talking about beliefs. That’s my opinion. My opinion is men should go to the bathroom in the men’s room and women should go to the bathroom in the women’s room.”
Asked if he regretted his social-media activity, Schilling said “no” seven times.
“I don’t live my life like that,” he said. “I’ve had cancer. I’ve had a heart attack. I’ve lost a business that went bankrupt. I’ve been through so many things. I’m way, way, way past regret.”
Schilling went on to say he’s fine if people disagree with his opinions, that he knows people who are transgender or homosexual, and that he doesn’t “have a racist bone in (his) body.”
“But at the end of the day,” Schilling said, “I will never in my life – and I don’t think I ever have in the past – say something or do something to make somebody that does not know me like me. They hired me for the reasons they fired me. They hired me because I’m not afraid to give my opinions. I’m not malicious. I’m not going to say mean things about people. I know what I can do. But they were hiring me because I could break down pitching pretty well, but I could also criticize a player without being personal. I don’t have a problem doing that.”
ESPN also removed Schilling’s “bloody sock” segment from the “30 for 30” documentary, Four Nights in October.
“It was intentional,” Schilling said. “There was no question in my mind it was intentional. But then they tried to explain it away, which goes to the thing that I say: You have to stop assuming that people in charge are smart – because that’s not the case. Some of the dumbest, most bigoted, intolerant people run these companies. All of them. So you deal with it. I thought it was funny. I thought it was funny, I thought it was very revealing. But that was kind of a lot of the ESPN behind-the-scenes anyway from an upper-level perspective.”