Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and ESPN analyst Curt Schilling was fired by the sports network after criticizing North Carolina's controversial transgender bathroom law on Twitter.
Schilling, well-known for being an outspoken conservative, retweeted a picture of a man dressed in women’s clothing that many deemed transphobic.
“Let him in!” a caption alongside the photo read. “To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die.”
Schilling added his own commentary to the tweet, which further generated controversy.
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves,” he wrote. “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 tweet pushed ESPN to terminate its relationship with Schilling -- the final straw in a series of recent comments and tweets deemed controversial, including one that compared Muslims to Nazis.
“ESPN is an inclusive company, the network wrote in a statement on its website. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”
Schilling later addressed the controversy on his blog, saying that it was the “easiest way” to speak to “all of you out there who are just dying to be offended so you can create some sort of faux cause to rally behind.”
“This latest brew ha ha is beyond hilarious,” he wrote. “I didn’t post that ugly looking picture. I made a comment about the basic functionality of mens and womens restrooms, period.”
Schilling’s son, Grant, later defended his father in a Facebook post, The New York Times reported.
“While I will say he’s not the most well informed in the modern LGBT+ culture, i can assure you he’s made great strides to understand people today,” the young man wrote. “If he were a bigot he wouldn’t have allowed my Trans friends to stay over, he’s respected pronouns and name changes- never once have I heard him say something to me that I thought he should keep quiet about.”