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Why Curt Schilling Was 'Blindsided' by the Backlash Over His Anti-Trans Post

curt schilling
Image via Wikimedia Commons

“[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.”

On Tuesday, former baseball pitcher and current (for now) ESPN analyst Curt Schilling shared the kind of narrow-minded, bigoted view of transgender people that allows for the passage of bills like North Carolina's HB2 and Mississippi's HB1523, essentially making it okay to discriminate against LGBT people while forcing trans people to use bathrooms that don't align with their gender identity.

You can see the post here (because it doesn't need to be further broadcast), but it's the same kind of out-of-date and out-of-touch representation that trans people have had to deal with from those who couldn't be bothered to take the time to educate themselves about what they're protesting.

Related | Trans North Carolinans Speak Out Against Discriminatory 'Bathroom' Law

Schilling captioned his 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."

ESPN, one of the more LGBT-friendly sports properties, was quick to issue a response, saying that they were "taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of reviewing it."

Schilling then redoubled on his position in a blog post where he claimed people are "dying to be offended so you can create some sort of faux cause to rally behind." And then, still unapologetic, Schilling told WEEI Wednesday morning that he was "blindsided" by the backlash:

"This, I don't wanna say snuck up on me, but it did. My comment was as innocuous and non-aggressive as anything anybody can say. I'm still trying to figure out how all this happened.


"This is the world we live in...[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.


"My question is why. Why is this a hot topic? What did I do that was risky?"

Schilling's confusion is...not understandable, so much as very apparent. What's also apparent is his ignorance of the issues at hand, or the fact that these bathroom bills aren't about protecting women and children so much as denying a vulnerable population basic human rights.

But to put this in terms that Curt Schilling can understand: there's a reason why I don't make comments about baseball--because it's boring as fuck except for when the guys pat each other on the butt, and moreover, because I don't know anything about it.

Of course, shitting on the Mets and shitting on an entire population that is not violent, or "non-tolerant" but simply wanting to be treated like human beings are two different things. And from what I've heard around New York, the former is pretty much warranted.

So, what is so risky? Ignorance. Why is this a hot topic? Because state governments have made it one. And finally, Schilling, having a trans colleague at ESPN in editor Christina Kahrl, should know better than to play into the "transgender = predator" narrative. And a little research would show that gender is not as black and white as he and other proponents of discriminatory laws make it out to be.

Related | #TransIsBeautiful and Inspirational In This Video for Transgender Day of Visibility

But considering that this is hardly the first time Schilling has stuffed his cleets in his mouth, that is perhaps expecting too much.

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