Curt Schilling repeatedly said he didn’t understand why he was being criticized for sharing an anti-transgender meme and said “somebody is hunting” during a Wednesday morning interview on WEEI.
“This, I don’t wanna say snuck up on me, but it did,” said Schilling, the ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher. “My comment was as innocuous and non-aggressive as anything anybody can say. I’m still trying to figure out how all this happened.”
On Tuesday, Schilling faced a harsh backlash when he shared an anti-transgender meme to his Facebook that commented on the push for public accommodations protections for transgender people. The post, which has since been removed from his page, was captured in a screenshot.
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” Schilling added in a comment. “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.”
ESPN said they were reviewing the matter and taking it “very seriously.” Schilling defended the comment in a lengthy post on his blog, saying that critics were “dying to be offended.”
On WEEI on Wednesday, Schilling said he had previously been told by ESPN not to comment on political issues after several prior instances of him doing just that. But he said he didn’t think the transgender bathroom issue was political.
“I was kind of blindsided by this one,” he said. “When I got the call [from ESPN], I was like, ‘I don’t get this, how does this become that.'”
Schilling said he was not transphobic, and added that he employed transgender workers at his failed company 38 Studios.
“I stated a fact. Men’s bathrooms were designed for people who stand up, and women’s weren’t. It’s nothing more than that,” he said.
He said he was not a victim, but said the outcry was because “somebody was hunting” him to get him fired.
“This is the world we live in,” Schilling said. “[The backlash] is because of the violent non-tolerant minority that shuts up anybody that doesn’t say something that they believe should be said.”
WEEI hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane challenged Schilling, asking him why he would opine on such a “hot topic.”
“My question is why. Why is this a hot topic?” Schilling said. “What did I do that was risky?” he added later.
Schilling also said he had “no idea” if he would still be employed by ESPN, and said he did not have confidence they would stand by him amid the criticism.
“As far as the money goes, they’re very, very good to me about this stuff, but that’s not why I have this job,” he said.