ESPN Benches Curt Schilling for 2015 Season over Radical Islam Tweet

ESPN has yanked commentator Curt Schilling for the rest of the regular season and American League wild-card game on October 6.

The cable network suspended Schilling from his position as commentator on Sunday Night Baseball and the Little League World Series for retweeting a post likening radical Muslims to Nazis.

Schilling apologized for the post, asserting he had made a “bad decision.” He later followed with an off-the-record email to awfulannouncing.com in which he denounced that website’s attacks on him. The website brazenly published his email despite his off-the-record disclaimer.

Explaining three-time World Series winner’s removal, ESPN stated, “At all times during the course of their engagement with us, our commentators are directly linked to ESPN and are the face of our brand. We are a sports media company. Curt’s actions have not been consistent with his contractual obligations nor have they been professionally handled; they have obviously not reflected well on the company. As a result, he will not appear on ESPN through the remainder of the regular season and our Wild Card playoff game.”

Although the statistics in Schilling’s tweet are quite possibly accurate, ESPN is owned by Disney, which has been down this road before. In 1993, after the film Aladdin opened, Disney changed the lyrics of a song to avoid offending Arabs.

The original lyrics read:

Oh, I come from a land

From a faraway place

Where the caravan camels roam.

Where they cut off your ear

If they don’t like your face

It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.

After a protest from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the lyrics were changed to:

Oh, I come from a land

From a faraway place

Where the caravan camels roam.

Where it’s flat and immense

And the heat is intense,

It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.

The change still did not satisfy the Arab committee protesting the lyrics, which asserted that the use of barbaric to describe the land still offended them.

As far as the extension of Schilling’s suspension, ESPN delivered the news quietly amid the din of the media clamor greeting Judge Richard Berman ruling in favor of Tom Brady in the Deflategate case. The distraction of that massive story apparently offered the Worldwide Leader in Sports a better opportunity to deliver news certain to alienate viewers than the upcoming holiday weekend.


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