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ESPN Fires Curt Schilling for Anti-Transgender Comments

ESPN has fired Curt Schilling over his recent anti-transgender comments on social media.

Schilling, a baseball analyst for ESPN and former Boston Red Sox pitcher, shared a Facebook post this week that lampooned critics of recent laws passed in North Carolina and other states restricting transgender men and women from using the public restrooms that correspond with their gender preferences. Schilling added his own comment to the post, criticizing transgender people.

“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” Schilling wrote. “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.”

The original post featured a man in a wig with his breasts exposed, captioned, “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”

After first announcing Wednesday that it would review Schilling’s comments, ESPN announced later in the day that it had fired him. “ESPN is an inclusive company,” the network said in a statement. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

Schilling deleted the original post, but evidence of his comments was preserved by a screenshot from Outsports, an LGBT sports publication.

Schilling responded Tuesday night to backlash over his comments with a lengthy blog post titled “The hunt to be offended…,” in which he denounced his critics, writing, “I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.”

One of the more decorated pitchers of his era, Schilling was a six-time All Star, three time World Series champion and MVP of the 2001 World Series. He is best remembered for his performance in the 2004 postseason, when he helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 91 years.

Schilling retired from baseball in 2009 and joined ESPN as an analyst the following year. Since then he has drawn repeated criticism for offensive and derogatory comments.

Schilling was suspended by ESPN last August for a tweet comparing Muslims to Nazis: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” Following that suspension, Schilling was replaced as an analyst on “Sunday Night Baseball” by Jessica Mendoza and reassigned to the network’s less prestigious Monday-night broadcast.

He also has been criticized for posting pro-confederacy photos and making other controversial remarks on his social media accounts. Last month he told a Kansas City radio station that Hillary Clinton should “be buried under a jail somewhere” for using a private email server while Secretary of State.

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