Curt Schilling tells blunt and uncomfortable truths, so there is no place for him in progressive corporate America. Last summer, ESPN suspended him for a personal Facebook post that and rightly noted that even a minority of extremists can cause catastrophic conflict. But in the world of progressive corporate politics, the truth is “Islamophobic” and must be punished.
Yesterday, ESPN fired Schilling. His offense? Posting a crude meme on his personal Facebook page that took direct aim at allowing men access to women’s restrooms. He also wrote, “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.”
Thus, when Curt Schilling said a “man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” he was simply telling the truth. But in the world of progressive corporate politics, the truth is “transphobic” and must be punished.
ESPN is openly progressive, celebrating every advance of the sexual revolution, and it has been wildly inconsistent in its discipline for on-air statements. The network stood by an employee who guffawed as Mike Tyson graphically described a . in an interview. They failed to discipline another employee who . They issued only a brief suspension to Stephen A. Smith when he argued that . Critically, each of those incidents occurred on the job and not on personal Facebook postings.
ESPN has far greater problems than an unruly conservative’s social-media postings. The progressive geniuses that run the network are busy after failing to properly anticipate the decline in cable-subscriber fees as cord-cutters abandon cable companies in favor of online streaming services.
ESPN needs its viewers now more than ever. Tens of millions of them happen to share Curt Schilling’s values, and they resent being told that their views are “unacceptable.” The channel is destroying brand loyalty and holds on to its audience only by expending billions on sports broadcast rights — often leaving viewers with a choice of watching ESPN or skipping live sports entirely. This reality is too expensive to sustain in the long run. And no one should shed a tear when the network pays the price.
In the short term, though, a man has lost his job for daring to speak an opinion the Left deems unacceptable. Progressive America is sending a message. In the institutions it controls, there is no distinction between the personal and professional. Keep dissent to yourself. All your words belong to your boss.
— David French is an attorney, and a staff writer at National Review.