ESPN fired former MLB star pitcher and sports analyst Curt Schilling on Wednesday after he ignited a firestorm of criticism across social media for criticizing the transgender community.
Schilling, who was an analyst on Monday Night Baseball, caught heat for sharing a Facebook post that appeared to comment on North Carolina’s controversial law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms that do not reflect their birth gender.
The now-deleted meme pictured a man wearing a blonde wig and a crop top with the holes cut out to show his chest. Bold words overlay the image, reading, "LET HIM IN! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!"
Above the photo, Schilling 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."
ESPN fires analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling after he shared anti-transgender post https://t.co/VJorUOgWM0
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) April 21, 2016
"ESPN an inclusive company," the company said in a statement Wednesday. "Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."
Schilling defended his comments earlier in the day on WEEI radio in Boston, the New York Times reported.
"To be in a place where people actually believe I’m a racist or I’m transphobic says to me that something has gone horribly askew somewhere," Schilling said. "I replied to the post. I didn’t post that."
Schilling was an All-Star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox for four years before joining ESPN as a baseball analyst in 2010.
He was previously suspended for a month in August after posting a photo featuring Adolf Hitler comparing Muslim extremists to Nazis. Last month, he received criticism for telling a host on a Kansas radio station that Hillary Clinton "should be buried under a jail somewhere" if she gave "classified information on hundreds if not thousands of emails on a public server," the New York Times reported.
Schilling on Tuesday wrote on his personal blog that anyone who was insulted by his Facebook post is "spineless" and "looking to be offended."