Curt Schilling had $2.5 million ESPN salary, wants to 'punch Keith Olbermann'

By Alex Butler  |  May 11, 2016 at 8:26 PM
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BRISTOL, Conn., May 11 (UPI) -- In another segment of colorful Curt Schilling comments, the former MLB pitcher spoke to Dan Patrick for the first time since being fired by ESPN.

Schilling appeared on the Dan Patrick Show Monday, speaking about the controversy surrounding his departure from the sports network and his political views. He also continued his campaign in maintaining that ESPN is "outwardly bigoted and intolerant."

"They sent out memos, 'Listen, we want our sports people on-air talent to stick to sports, stay away from politics and all the other stuff.'..The next thing, Stephen A. Smith tells the world Robert Griffin can't play quarterback for the Redskins because he is black, not because he sucks, which it was because he sucks," Schilling told Patrick. "Then you got [Dan] Le Batard and you got Tony Kornheiser comparing the Tea Party to ISIS. So, I think what the memo meant to say was 'If you're not liberal and you're not a Democrat, do not stray from sports.' So they did that and it happened again."

"And I kept trying to explain to them, I get it, to some extent, but I'm not doing this openly and outwardly anymore. This is something I'm commenting on. The other piece that really jumped out at me was, people would talk — you know the green room where everybody hangs out. It's the ESPN version of the locker room. A lot of times people would be like, they would come up to me and whisper, 'Hey man, I'm with ya, I'm a Republican,' as if we were the secret card-carrying members of some group that couldn't be, that 'those who shall not be named.' The inclusiveness is inclusive as long as you are pointing in the same direction they are."

"I'm not a measured speaker," Schilling told Patrick. "I never have been. I was told one of the reasons they hired me was that I was opinionated and that I spoke my opinion whether it went against the grain or not. That was the case right up until I spoke an opinion they didn't agree with."

Schilling was yanked from covering Little League World Series games last summer after posting a tweet regarding Muslims and Nazis. He was taken off of his Sunday Night Baseball gig, after saying that Hillary Clinton should be "Buried under a jail."

Schilling contributed to Ben Carson's campaign. He was officially fired in April, after reposting a meme featuring a large man wearing a wig and women's clothes, with a caption that 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."

ESPN's "2016 Presidential Election Policy" cautions against political endorsements and conversations.

"We should refrain from political editorializing, personal attacks or 'drive-by' comments regarding the candidates and their campaigns," the policy states. "Approved commentaries on sports-specific issues, or seeking responses from candidates on relevant news issues, are appropriate. However perceived endorsements should be avoided. (In others cases guidelines on social media, acceptable commentary and political advocacy should prevail)."

The 20-year baseball veteran continues the trend of political posts on his Facebook account, posting about Donald Trump and Clinton as recently as Wednesday. Maybe his unveiled views can score him a job talking about sports and politics, something he said he would be interested in.

But he told Patrick that he didn't know if a media marriage between himself and Keith Olbermann would work out.

"You know what, seriously, I wanted to punch him in the larynx from the day I heard him speak for the first time, and he and I are clearly opposites, but like a lot of things in life, everyone that's ever spoken to me has said he and I would have had the best time in the world together, because he loves sports, he's engaging, he's entertaining, he likes debate. You couldn't find two people further apart, so I don't know," Schilling told Patrick.

Schilling contended that he wasn't doing the job for its hefty paycheck.

"At the end of the day, I'm lucky. I'm blessed in the sense that the job I had...listen, I was making $2.5 million a year," Schilling told Patrick. "The job I had, I didn't have to have it to put food on the table and a roof over my family's head. Because maybe I act differently if that's the case."

Schilling is a three-time World Series champion, but has yet to be inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. He has been on the ballot for four years, but his 52.3 percentage of votes in January fell short of the 75 percent benchmark needed for induction. Some analysts believe that Schilling's comments could impede his ability to get into Cooperstown, as he is already on the fence for voters.

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