Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and outspoken conservative activist Curt Schilling delivered a fiery speech to an audience of about 40 people at Houston Hall on Wednesday.
Schilling, who is a three-time World Series winner and six-time MLB All-Star, has gained additional fame after retirement by becoming a conservative commentator.
At the event, he said he lost his job as an analyst because liberals aren't open to conservative opinions.
“I got fired [from ESPN], due to my support of open opinion," he said. "I got fired because I was a conservative.”
In 2016, Schilling was fired from his job as an analyst at ESPN after an offensive social media post.
“A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much," Schilling wrote at the time. "Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
In other parts of the event, Schilling attacked liberal bias in sports, in the media, and on college campuses. He also criticized what he described as the politicization of sports by left-wingers.
“As a conservative, I’ve watched athletes and cheered for athletes and watched movies and people who are very liberal, because that doesn’t factor into my enjoyment of their skillset,” Schilling said. “On the other side of things, it’s the complete opposite.”
In addition to addressing alleged media bias, Schilling went on to say that the media’s critiques of his past political comments were unfair.
“If you talk to people about me in the media, I am a racist, homophobic bigot,” Schilling said.
Later on, Schilling returned to the media’s treatment of his political views, saying people refused to vote him into Baseball Hall of Fame solely because of his ideology.
“I know for a fact people didn’t vote for me [for the Hall of Fame] because of my political beliefs,” Schilling said.
Schilling also addressed several cultural issues, criticizing affirmative action on campus.
“Students are getting into colleges not because of how bright, smart, and committed you are, but because of what color you are,” Schilling said. “Did we go the other way?”
In addition to Schilling’s critique of affirmative action, he also went on address allegations of transphobia by members of the media, saying he had no personal problem with transgender people.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve gone to the bathroom with somebody who’s trans,” Schilling said. “Couldn’t care less. But there’s no need to announce it.”
After delivering his remarks, Schilling went on to take questions from the audience. An audience member who identified himself as a Penn employee expressed concern about University employees “badmouthing" President Donald Trump and said Penn Law School professor's Amy Wax’s comments were “misconstrued and twisted.”
“Those things are all happening because people are afraid and defend them," Schilling said in response to the employee’s concerns.
Schilling additionally called star basketball player Lebron James “ignorant” for his stance on China. James had attacked Houston Rockets executive Daryl Morey as “misinformed” for supporting protesters in Hong Kong, saying Morey’s stance could jeopardize the NBA’s position in China.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen someone call someone else ignorant while being more ignorant than anybody I’ve ever known,” Schilling said. “[James'] grasp, or lack of grasp, of China, or of the history of China, it would be almost humorous if it wasn’t potentially deadly."
Schilling praised Trump and criticized media outlets like CNN for what he characterized as their “trivial” criticisms of the president.
“I’ve got a president, who for the first time in my life, is actually committed and doing the promises he made during the campaign,” Schilling said. “But apparently we need CNN to tell us about the Diet Coke problem the President has and every other trivial thing you could imagine.”
College Republicans Communications Director and Wharton sophomore Corey Paredes said the group invited Schilling because of his distinguished baseball career and his efforts as a political activist.
“Penn College Republicans is proud to support a diverse array of conservative voices,” Paredes said. “Mr. Schilling is a rare conservative voice in a culture where professional sports have become an extension of the leftist political arena.”
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