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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@JerryThornton1
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Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show's Bulldog, Kirk Minihane, talks with Peter King about what he learned from deflategate, having information he couldn't run with, and how long he will continue to report on the NFL.

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Braves, 12:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at Royals, 7:15 p.m. (FS1)
MLB: Astros at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Mavericks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Warriors at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Predators, 8 p.m. (CNBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is known for getting under the skin of opposing players. On Tuesday he drew the ire of a whole lot more people when he made an inappropriate gesture (a double-middle-finger salute) and then uttered an anti-gay slur after being called for a penalty. That earned him a one-game suspension and a $5,000 fine.

After Tuesday’s game, a 4-3 loss to the Blues, Shaw said he did not know what he said because he was so mad at the time. After heading home and watching the video — which quickly went viral — his mistake was clear.

“It was hard to see,” he said Wednesday. “Emotions got the best of me.”

Shaw, who will miss Thursday’s Game 5 in St. Louis, also will have to undergo sensitivity training, although he claims he already has learned his lesson.

“I’ll never use that word again, that’s for sure … That’s not the type of guy I am,” he said.

Added Shaw: “I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake.”

— Controversial cornerback Josh Norman, one of the league’s top defensive backs, reportedly has heard from a large number of teams since he became a free agent Wednesday after the Panthers rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer.

The 28-year-old All-Pro passed on signing the franchise tag — worth $13.9 million for 2016 — and instead was holding out for a long-term deal. However, the sides apparently were not close to an agreement.

“After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. “We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.”

Norman had four interceptions in the first four games last season, returning two for touchdowns. He was a key cog on a Panthers team that captured the NFC championship before losing to the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

— DeMarcus Lawrence apparently is the latest Cowboys player to run afoul of the NFL, as the defensive end reportedly is facing a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy by using amphetamines.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Lawrence received notice of the four-game ban and apparently is fighting it, because the team has not received official notification.

Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks last year with eight and was tops among the team’s defensive linemen with 56 tackles. He was drafted 34th overall two years ago despite serving three one-game suspensions during his two years at Boise State for unspecified violations of team rules.

Said Lawrence the night he was drafted: “I let all the teams know that I put my childish behaviors behind me, and I’ve moved on and it’s time for me to become a Cowboy. It’s time for me to grow up and do my duties and play football.”

Assuming the suspension holds, Lawrence would join fellow defensive lineman Randy Gregory on the sidelines for the first four games due to league punishment. The team was in the same situation last year, with two key defenders suspended for the first four games in Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 21, 1990, in Game 2 of the Adams Division finals against the Canadiens, Garry Galley gave the Bruins a 5-4 victory when he scored 3:42 into overtime on a goal that was reminiscent of the Bobby Orr tally that clinched the 1970 Stanley Cup finals. Which Bruin had four assists in the game, including on the game-winner?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.” — ESPN, responding to Curt Schilling’s comments about the transgender rights issue

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Runs for the Red Sox before the Rays recorded an out Wednesday, as the Sox jumped out early en route to a 7-3 victory one night after being held to one hit and no runs in 10 innings

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Peter Bourjos beats out an infield single to give the Phillies an 11th-inning walk-off win over the Mets.

Tucker Barnhart pulls a liner down the right-field line to give the Reds a walk-off win over the Rockies in the ninth inning.

Padres left fielder Melvin Upton leaps over the fence to steal a home run from the Pirates.

Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk races back and reaches over the wall to make a catch against the Cubs.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones makes a great diving catch to prevent the Rangers’ tying run from scoring in the seventh inning.

Astros right fielder George Springer lays out to make a nice catch against the Rangers.

Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks uncorks a 105 mph throw home to nail an Athletics baserunner for an inning-ending double play.

LeBron James finishes with authority during the Cavaliers’ win over the Pistons.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Craig Janney

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Iggy Pop was born on this day in 1947.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

During his Wednesday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, baseball analyst Curt Schilling claimed he was “

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

During his Wednesday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, baseball analyst Curt Schilling claimed he was “blindsided” when his bosses at ESPN called to talk to him about his latest firestorm, insisting his comments about the transgender controversy were “as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say.”

ESPN obviously did not agree, ending Schilling’s relationship with the network later Wednesday.

“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.”

On Tuesday, Schilling reposted a graphic that pictured a burly man dressed in suggestive women’s clothing with the words: Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!

He followed that by writing in a separate post: A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. 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 posts were a response to the controversy in North Carolina, where a law was passed directing individuals to use bathrooms based on their biological sex. Companies and entertainers have responded by boycotting the state or threatening to pull their business.

Defending himself to D&C, Schilling said, “That [graphic] wasn’t my post. “I commented on that. … I replied to the post. I didn’t post that. I made a comment paraphrasing it would be people that go to the bathroom standing up use one, and people that go the bathroom sitting down use the other. That’s turned into somehow I’m transphobic. I don’t know.”

When asked about the possibility of discipline, he said: “I have not even thought that. I don’t want to say it snuck up on me, but it did. I know that might be hard to believe for some people, but I swear to God. My comment was as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say. I’m still kind of trying to figure out how the hell this all happened. But if that is the case, then I”l deal with that when the time comes.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We check in with Red Sox skipper John Farrell and discuss Joe Kelly, the reported meeting with Dave Dombrowski, Pablo's exam and injury prognosis, who fills the hole in the starting staff and more.

[0:01:52] ... through. I think a similar warm up last night and talking to Carl Willis but then when he got on that and tried to step on what some have a loss in the first inning it ...
[0:06:47] ... the mound it as often as possible. Recognizing the numbers against the Toronto Blue Jays over the course of David's career great pitcher. And yet at the same time we knew that there was going to be ...
[0:09:20] ... or could you see a situation like well you what you want Victor Martinez was here he split time between first and catcher could. Could that be done between left field and catcher might just talking ...





We check in with Red Sox skipper John Farrell and discuss Joe Kelly, the reported meeting with Dave Dombrowski, Pablo's exam and injury prognosis, who fills the hole in the starting staff and more.

[0:01:52] ... through. I think a similar warm up last night and talking to Carl Willis but then when he got on that and tried to step on what some have a loss in the first inning it ...
[0:06:47] ... the mound it as often as possible. Recognizing the numbers against the Toronto Blue Jays over the course of David's career great pitcher. And yet at the same time we knew that there was going to be ...
[0:09:20] ... or could you see a situation like well you what you want Victor Martinez was here he split time between first and catcher could. Could that be done between left field and catcher might just talking ...





We discuss the poor play of the Red Sox, and whether there's any hope for improvement on the horizon.
We discuss the poor play of the Red Sox, and whether there's any hope for improvement on the horizon.