Despite a fairly strong on-field resume from his playing career, another BBWAA Hall of Fame election came and went without Curt Schilling reaching the 75 percent threshold needed for enshrinement.
It’s not hard to speculate about what might be costing Schilling a spot in Cooperstown. Since his retirement, Schilling has sparked outrage again and again for pushing conspiracy theories, sharing bigoted content on social media and convening with known white supremacists.
That activity has cost Schilling a job with ESPN, a chance to throw a first pitch in the World Series for the Boston Red Sox and it might also be holding him back with journalists who might not be happy the right-hander once called a t-shirt advocating for their lynching “awesome.” An endorsement from the president of the United States definitely wasn’t a boon either, but that was because he announced his support three weeks after ballots were due.
Schilling still has plenty of time to gain votes and, in all likelihood, will someday enter the Hall, but, clearly, his personal views have soured his legacy for many fans. And yet, according to the pitcher, he doesn’t deserve the reputation at all.
Curt Schilling: ‘I’ve never said anything racist in my life, ever’
Schilling appeared on WEEI’s Mut & Callahan Show on Friday to discuss his Hall of Fame rejection and, as noted by Deadspin, the 52-year-old went through a laundry list of his public outrages that were obviously just misunderstandings in his eyes, frequently challenged by host Alex Reimer and supported by co-host Gerry Callahan.
The whopper came early in the interview, when Schilling said the following:
“People dismiss me out of hand as a racist. I’ve never said anything racist in my life, ever. The power of the media and their ability to create or make people into something they aren’t, it’s where we live and where we are.”
Schilling declined to say which media entity forced him to tweet a graphic equating Muslims with Nazi Germany or twisted his insistence that a black player fabricated a story about racial taunts for attention.
The Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox great proceeded to drop plenty more Schilling gems, including the following:
insisting that the lynching journalists t-shirt post was taken “way, way, way too far,” defiantly noting that he doesn’t “have a past of lynching,” and saying it was a commentary on the media killing itself
laughing along with a joke about how wearing a pink pussyhat and tweeting the the president is a puppet of Russian president Vladimir Putin would get him 98 percent of the BBWAA vote
angrily insisting that he didn’t really mean it when he shared a pair of photos implying that a Parkland student was a crisis actor
claiming that Democrats being responsible for a series of pipe bombs sent to Democratic figureheads “sounds like something they would do”
noting that liberals are responsible for “almost 100 percent” of the stories on a site compiling fake hate crimes
asking Reimer why he was offended over the anti-transgender post that got him fired from ESPN
saying he didn’t believe in some of the things he has posted, just that he was “commenting” on them
berating Reimer for not being capable of believing a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring in secret
claiming that writers have told him they think that there should be laws against posting tweets that disagree with their beliefs
saying he hopes Reimer, who is openly gay, will “marry a woman with a pair”
Schilling got progressively angrier as the interview progressed and insisted that the problem was with a liberal cabal of writers willfully sabotaging his reputation. He ended the appearance by saying “the Left has victimized itself before and it continues to do so,” and you can only wonder how much he was looking internally with that statement.
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