ESPN Fires Schilling
ESPN finally made the move to fire Curt Schilling yesterday evening. ESPN released a brief press release informing the public of Schilling's release.
"ESPN is an inclusive company," the press release said. "Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."
Schilling was fired over a picture he shared on Facebook that featured a man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. The post read: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”
This decision, no matter what beliefs you have, is the right decision. Schilling not only represents himself, but he represents his employer too. He's had multiple instances before on social media where he voiced his opinion and received backlash; thus his removal from Sunday Night Baseball last season for an anti-Muslim/Nazi remark. Freedom of speech protects you from the government, but it doesn't protect you from the consequences that can occur when you say something that your employer doesn't stand for. His 1st amendment rights were not violated. He had the right to say what he did, but his employer has the right to fire him for it. When you're a public figure, whose job resides in the world of sports, it's better to stick to what you know.
ESPN and all Disney owned media hold themselves to a high social media standard. They have a code informing employees to focus on promoting ESPN content; not political beliefs. If you want to express your own opinion in an inciting way on social media, then ESPN and a lot of other media organizations are probably not where you should be working.
Schilling will likely find a job elsewhere (my money is on FOX), so he'll be fine. If anything, this is a lesson in social media. Watch what you say, because it can come back to bite you.