I agree with my fellow dotcommie John Tomase that Curt Schilling brought his firing by ESPN on himself.
Schilling is a bright guy. He had to be self-aware and tuned into current corporate culture enough to realize that weighing in on a controversial topic was putting his job on the line. Companies like Disney are standing in a minefield of opinions and demanding their employees freeze where they stand our of fear they’ll step on the wrong one. So Schilling knew the risks he was taking when he decided to Hoppity-Hop around on transgendered bathrooms. He had to.
And ESPN has every right to can a guy who says things they’d rather he not say. That’s not only the current zeitgeist, it’s simply good business. Corporations like the Mouse exist to make profits, period. Not so save the world or provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas. As Adam Smith said, we get bread not because the baker doesn’t want us to go hungry, but because he wants to make money so he can buy an iPhone 7 the day it comes out. Or words to that effect. So if an employee is shooting his mouth off in a way that will cause you unwanted heat, you have every right to cut him loose. That’s capitalism.
That’s where John and I will part ways. You can disagree with Schilling’s take on whether a society has the right to regulate who should use what bathroom without calling his viewpoints “loony” and his opinions “unsavory.”
I don’t agree with everything Schilling says, but that’s beside the point. When he compares Muslim extremists – and any reasonable person can understand that he was talking about the people who set off pressure cooker bombs on Boylston Street and cut captive’s heads off on the Internet-to Nazis, that’s not a “transgression.” It’s his take. A point of view. Agree with it or make a counter-argument. But to immediately characterize him as throwing hate speech at everyone who adheres to one of the world’s major religions is just demagoguery. Everyone knows Schilling doesn’t believe all Muslims are Nazis. But it’s easy and convenient to put those words in someone’s mouth so you can rail against his made up hatred and make yourself sound enlightened.
Same with this transgendered bathroom issue. There is a reasonable point to be made that to open the doors of any bathroom or locker room to whomever says they “identify” with a gender is inviting trouble. Personally, I won’t stand for keeping someone who’s had gender reassignment surgery out of the facility they’ve been reassigned to. But in a world filled with degenerate sexual predators, people decrying “rape culture,” creeps taking upskirt videos and posting them on the net and college women calling for safe spaces, I am not wrong to ask for better safeguards than a guy walking into a gym and declaring “I identify as a woman so I’m using the women’s locker room. You’ll just have to take my word for it.”
That’s not hate speech. Again, it’s about making everyone safe. LBGT, straight, male, female, young or old. That doesn’t mean I’d have posted the meme that Schilling did, because in no way would I. And if he thought he wouldn’t get any blowback from posting it, then he’s more naive than I ever could’ve imagined.
One point that Schilling, Tomase and I all agree on it that we live in a society filled with those looking everywhere for something to be offended by. It’s Victim Chic. And I’ll add that the hypocrisy here is off the charts. Some of the most offended are the worst offenders. Just to cite a few examples:
- ESPN devoted an entire day to covering President Obama’s trip last month to Cuba, lauding and celebrating a regime run by an oppressive Socialist dictatorship. Where, by the way, same sex marriage is illegal.
- Comic Tracy Morgan just canceled his appearance in Mississippi over what he perceives is their hateful, anti-LGBT laws. He would be the same Tracy Morgan who until recently was doing “jokes” about how, if his son was gay, he’d get a knife and stab him to death.
- Cirque du Soleil just canceled their show in North Carolina over the same issue. The next stop on their tour is Dubai, where homosexuality is punishable by death.
Still, Schilling knew he was putting his professional nuts in the vice and daring the Mouse to close it. And while I’ll never stop defending his right to say what he says without being called a hatemonger, I’ll also defend his bosses’ right to fire him when he does.
But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?
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