Curt Schilling claims he is not anti-gay or anti-transgender — and doesn’t think he deserved to be fired.
The former baseball analyst and three-time World Series winner has criticized the LGBT community, Muslims and even Hillary Clinton over the past year. Now he’s blasting ESPN for firing him earlier this week over a new anti-trans rant that included a meme of a crossdressing man.
“I’m not transphobic, I’m not homophobic … As long as you’re not sleeping with my wife, I don’t care who you sleep with,” Schilling (pictured above in 2012) said in an interview with Stephen K. Brannon of the Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM Friday.
“If in my past I’d ever been a racist or I had ever said something racist, or if I had ever been transphobic or homophobic, somebody somewhere would have said something I’m sure, given my status.”
Critics pounced when the former Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher posted a meme on Facebook Tuesday mocking transgender women. The post, which has since been deleted, was captioned: “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 move led ESPN to finally fire the “Monday Night Baseball” analyst the following day, issuing a statement that read: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
Despite the outcry and the dismissal, Schilling remained defiant, saying he didn’t need the money from the high profile position anyway — and then accusing ESPN of double standards.
“If that job meant I had to continue doing it to put a roof over the head of my family and food on the table, I’m probably acting differently than I did,” he told Brannon. “A lot of people can’t or won’t jeopardize what they do for a living to be and espouse the things they believe and are.
“I’m not that guy … At a company where the rules are different based completely and solely on your perspective and your beliefs, it didn’t work. They didn’t like that.”
Schilling went on to say that “if my 16-year-old son came home tomorrow and said to me, ‘Dad, I want to be a woman,’ I would be disappointed,” adding his son is a founding member of the LGBT club at his high school. “Because as a man and a father, I want my son to experience fatherhood and being a father … But I wouldn’t care. I wouldn’t care. I would not feel any differently about him. I would not love him any less. I would actually be proud of the fact that he’s trying to be true to himself.”
The anti-transgender comments were the latest in a series of gaffes by Schilling.
In March, he aired his grievances over Clinton’s use of a private computer server to send classified information, telling Kansas City’s 610 sports radio listeners that the presidential candidate “should be buried under a jail somewhere.” ESPN investigated the matter as the company had previously sent a memo to its employees urging them not to comment on the presidential race.
After joining ESPN in April 2010, Schilling was removed from the network’s baseball coverage last season following a controversial tweet made in August 2015 comparing Muslims to Nazis and was replaced by MLB analyst Jessica Mendoza.
Schilling had tweeted a photo of Adolf Hitler and the words: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?” He accompanied the picture with the caption, “The math is staggering when you get to the true #s.”
“Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective,” the sports network said in a statement at the time.
Schilling, 49, later issued a formal apology on Twitter, writing, “I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.”
He had returned to the network this baseball season, but as a “Monday Night Baseball” analyst, as opposed to the coveted Sunday night spot.
Listen to the interview below.