ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling isn't exactly known for being a shrinking violet when it comes to voicing his opinions, good, bad, or ridiculous. I say we go ahead and file his latest inflammatory blunder under the bad, and definitely the ridiculous. Schilling reposted a wildly anti-transgender meme on Facebook this week, and already, it's caused quite a stir on social media sites.
Schilling reposted an image of a man wearing a revealing, body-hugging outfit, and some heels with the caption, "Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or you're a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving bigot who needs to die!!"
So what made him speak out again? On Monday, the retired Boston Red Sox pitcher decided to kinda-sorta weigh in on North Carolina's infamous "bathroom bill", a law passed by North Carolina governor Pat McCrory which initially made it illegal for transgender people to use the facilities for the gender with which they identify. And despite the fact that the bill has not exactly turned out swimmingly for Governor McCrory, with his reelection numbers dropping dramatically all the time, Schilling was all, "Meh, let's give this a whirl and see what happens." Presumably he felt that we were all waiting with bated breath for his exalted opinion, but this is only conjecture.
While Schilling wasn't the original poster of the meme, sharing the image (as anyone alive in the 21st century knows) is the online version of nodding vigorously in agreement. And just in case his audience wasn't sure about how Schilling viewed the meme, he had this to say in the comments section below, according to The Washington Post, which managed to capture a screengrab of the statement:
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 major concern with this sort of anti-transgender bias, particularly when shared by a celebrity, is the permissive nature behind it. The sense of entitlement that Schilling could encourage and incite with this sort of fear-based meme.
Luckily, these sort of responses appear to be few and far between. Whatever outcome Schilling might have been hoping for by sharing the blatantly anti-transgender meme, it's clear even he has been caught off guard by the vehement response.
Schilling posted a response to detractors in a blog post on Tuesday. I will let this particular bit of narcissistic "man-splaining" speak for itself.
1. The meme the world decided to rally behind that I posted months ago. The meme that some of you clowns and more of you spineless looking to be offended folks turned into something it was not. Every one of you gutless cowards, when ‘calling me out’ or calling me a racist, every one of you left out the only word in that entire meme that mattered. You had to, otherwise you’d have had to go elsewhere to find offense and create something out of nothing. Let me help you now. All of you fraudulent media folks, you lazy ass “don’t actually want to work for a story” clowns. The word you left out? the ONLY word that mattered? EXTREMIST. That word being omitted creates two completely different posts with two very different meanings. I don’t dislike or hate Muslims, or people of the Islamic faith. Ask my friends that are both. But then again you all knew that, but when you omit the word extremist you create a person that doesn’t exist and have a story with traction, even if it is a complete lie.
2. This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious. I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.
Schilling uses two of my favorite means of explaining away bigotry: "I just shared the meme, it's not mine! You can't blame me!", and the ever-popular, "Ask all my Muslim friends, they will tell you I love Muslims!"
To be fair here, everyone makes mistakes. Perhaps Curt Schilling will eventually see the error of his ways and apologize. After all, he moved on from sporting his sort-of-epic mullet, didn't he?