The 49-year-old former All-Star pitcher and ESPN analyst sounds off on the network that fired him for a pattern of making comments on social media that many find offensive.
DAN PATRICK:How are you?
CURT SCHILLING: I'm fired. [Laughs.]
DP:Did you expect it?
CS: No. I didn't until they made me drive two hours to meet with an HR person. I assumed that was the slow walk to the guillotine. I think the only irony in all this for me is that a company that is outwardly bigoted and intolerant is calling itself inclusive. I'm sad that it ended because of the people that I worked with. Other than that I guess it was meant to be.
DP:Explain what you are saying in calling ESPN bigoted?
CS: They send out memos [saying] we want our sports people and talent to stick to sports and stay away from politics and all the other stuff. But then [ESPN's] Stephen A. [Smith] tells people that [Browns QB] Robert Griffin can't play quarterback because he's black, not because he sucks. You had Dan Le Batard [on Cuba] and Tony Kornheiser comparing the Tea Party to ISIS. So what I think the memo meant to say was, If you're not liberal and you're not a Democrat do not stray from sports.
DP:Maybe the description of your opinions is what they couldn't tolerate.
CS: I got fired for things people thought I said or things people perceived I was, none of which were true.
DP:But you knew how [your messages] were being received, so do you say, "Do I want to do this and still have my job?"
CS: How long have you known me?
CS: Have you ever known me to sit back and say, "Well wait, let me measure this and make sure that it will be received in the way that no one's toes will get stepped on?" I was told one of the reasons they hired me was because they liked the fact that I spoke my opinion, whether it went against the grain or not.
DP:But were they talking about baseball or politics?
CS: Obviously they weren't talking politics because I got fired for talking it. I made a comment about the functionality of men's and women's restrooms. I didn't comment about transgenders.
DP:What if you and [former ESPN host] Keith Olbermann did a show together?
CS: You know what? I wanted to punch him in the larynx from the first day I heard him speak. He and I are clearly opposites, but everyone that has ever spoken to me about him has said that he and I would have had the best time together. Maybe somebody at ESPN is saying, "I wish we would have thought about this before we fired him."
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MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II (PATRICK)
JARED WICKERHAM/GETTY IMAGES (SCHILLING)
ANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES (O'NEILL)
OWEN SWEENEY/INVISION/AP (MABUS)
AARON POOLE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (SCOTT)