Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the vulgar tweets he received after tweeting his daughter will be playing college softball at Salve Regina University next year, and the course of action he’s taken. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Schilling wrote a lengthy blog post on his personal blog Sunday night addressing, and even publishing some of the tweets he received. The former big league pitcher reached out to some of the schools some of the tweeters attended, including coaches of teams the men played college sports for. He said some hockey, lacrosse and soccer players have been kicked off teams for good, or suspended for the year.
Additionally, Brookdale Community College suspended one of its students for his comments, and the Yankees have reportedly fired a part-time employee for his comments.
“It’s not a mistake,” Schilling said. “People talk about making mistakes as a kid — listen, I’ve made a million mistakes — these are conscious decisions because a mistake is saying you know what, ‘You’re a tool,’ and going on and saying, ‘Oh gosh, I shouldn’t of said that’ and going back and deleting it. This was over and over and over. You could see at some point they all thought what the hell is he going to do to me and they got worse and eventually it got to the point where I said OK, I need to fix this.”
“A couple of these guys, this stuff will follow them around for the rest of their lives because I am going to make sure it does,” he added.
The current ESPN analyst said at the time of the original tweet he expected a few tweets from trolls, but nothing to the point it has reached. It was then Schilling decided something needed to be done.
“I expected the trolls,” he said. “The one kid kind of came at me and said, ‘I can’t wait to take your daughter out.’ Kind of borderline stuff, which again, I expected. I’ve been on the internet since, I started playing on computers in 1980, so I understand how it works and I knew there would be stuff. The stuff that they did, that is not bad or vile, it’s illegal. It’s against the law.
“When that started — again, I thought it might be a one-off, but then it started to steamroll. And then [my daughter] started to get private correspondence and then I said OK, this needs to get fixed. This generation of kids doesn’t understand, and adults too, doesn’t understand that the internet is not even remotely anonymous.”
Schilling said this isn’t a matter of political beliefs, or which team you may root for — this is a issue for everyone and something he vows to try have as many people hear about it as he can.
“Here is the thing, we all know I don’t care if you’re a liberal, conservative or a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Yankees, Red Sox whatever fan, or if you don’t like me — every single woman on this planet is bothered by this,” said Schilling. “When I talk to Michelle Malkin or when I email and text the link to Ann Coulter, they are going to get the word out. This is one of those kind of elephants in the room as a society now.
“I am a guy. Since I’ve been here I’ve said a million things I wish I hadn’t, but this is not being a guy. There is nothing about this that is manly.”
The former pitcher wouldn’t comment if he is pressing criminal charges, but did say, “This is not over by any stretch, no.”
He added: “Should I choose to pursue all of them, [they] could be followed around the rest of their lives with a sex offender tag. Those people have to register everywhere they go. They have to inform everyone they ever apply for a job with. Every community — go to the sex offender website, look at it. Every one that tweeted the stuff that I am talking about could be labeled and criminally labeled a sex offender, forever.”
Schilling admitted he never expected things to go this far on a national scale, and he didn’t even think about that when he decided to address the matter. He added there were even more vulgar tweets other than the ones he published.
“I didn’t think about that part of it — honest to God I didn’t,” Schilling said. “I thought about my daughter. The letter that I posted has been edited by me about 46 times because the first letter I wrote was basically, I am going to find you and kill you. It was the dad response, but then at some point as I kept looking at it, I realized I have three sons. If I want to teach my boys about being real men then there needs to be a learning moment in all of this. My oldest son is in college, he’s a freshman and my two younger sons wanted to tweet back every one of these guys in language I’ve never heard them speak before.”
Schilling said although he’s forgiven the men, this will stay with them the rest of their lives because of the power of the internet in today’s society.
“I’ve forgiven them, but they are never going to be able to out live this,” he said. “This is with them for the rest of their lives. This is not a mistake. Let me be very clear, these kids didn’t make a mistake. They made conscious decisions to talk about rape, and sex and defiling a 17-year-old girl. What part of the news are these people not seeing on a daily basis where kids on a daily basis are killing themselves from being cyber bullied?”
As for his daughter, Schilling said she was originally mad at him for what he did, but after sitting down and speaking with her, she has a better understanding of the situation and Schilling’s reasons and is doing well.
“She’s doing good,” he said. “My daughter has I’d like to think the intestinal fortitude or whatever you want to call it, that I have in the sense that she was unbelievably distressed and distraught and wanted nothing more of this to happen. Initially she was very mad at me for responding and I sat her down and explained to her as stupid as you think I am — and she thinks I am as stupid as anyone on this planet — there are certain things that can’t ever happen.
“No one is every allowed and OK to talk to you like this, in person or in private, ever. You better know that the opportunities for you out there are no different for you because you’re a woman. People like this are so intimated by you and your potential success that this is the only thing they got. That is one of the reasons why I taught my daughter self-defense. We live in a world that is — look across the ocean — we live in a world that in some cases despises women.”