Baseball star turned right-wing radio host Curt Schilling says those of us offended by antigay slurs are just too sensitive.
After the outcry over Oakland Athletics outfielder Matt Joyce's use of such a slur toward a fan in Anaheim, Calif., Friday night, Schilling tweeted that those who take offense, to use one of the right's favorite terms, are "snowflakes."
Schilling's tweet links to a story that has since been updated. Major League Baseball and the A's, after looking into the incident, suspended Joyce for two games without pay and donated his lost salary, some $54,000, to PFLAG. The A's issued a statement of apology and so did Joyce, saying he was "beyond sorry" and adding, "I fully support and hope to help the LGBTQ community with their efforts in being treated fairly."
The verbal fight with the fan came after C.J. Cron, the first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, made a diving stop of Joyce's hard-hit ground ball, depriving him of a hit. When Joyce headed back to the dugout, the fan yelled something at him, and Joyce responded with the slur and other harsh words, according to an Associated Press photographer who heard that part of the exchange, although not the beginning.
While MLB appears to have declared zero tolerance for slurs of all types, including homophobic ones, Schilling is not pleased. The deeply conservative retired pitcher, best known for his heroics for the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 World Series, has behaved offensively toward LGBT people himself. Last year he lost his job as a baseball analyst with ESPN after sharing a transphobic meme on Facebook. Members of his family responded at the time by saying Schilling's not bigoted because he's been hospitable to their LGBT friends.
"Schilling has been no friend of the LGBT community for years, all the while claiming he's some sort of champion because he welcomes gay people into his house," noted Cyd Ziegler at Outsports.
"As we've said over and over again, the use of slurs deeply hurts young teenagers cowering in their locker rooms, as well as strong, powerful men afraid to share their true selves in Major League Baseball," Ziegler continued. "While terms like 'snowflake' are designed by people like Schilling to rile up his homophobic base and charge head-first into a social-justice war with LGBT people, his labeling of folks with very real personal struggles couldn't be more far off."
Although he lost his ESPN gig, Schilling continues to have a platform through Twitter, his blog, and an online radio show hosted by Breitbart.