Says Yahoo Sports Curt Cwik:
The baseball case for Schilling’s induction is easy. Over 20 seasons, Schilling was one of the most accomplished pitchers in baseball. He was a six-time All-Star, three-time World Series winner and arguably the best postseason pitcher of his era. By Jay Jaffe’s JAWS metric, Schilling did enough on the field to warrant a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Despite all that, Schilling is the least deserving of the candidates to be seriously considered for the honor. The 53-year-old has spent the last few years rapidly disqualifying himself from the conversation by spreading hateful speech and dangerous rhetoric.
And yet, Schilling still finds himself trending in the right direction. As of Friday, Schilling has appeared on 79 percent of 2020 ballots, according to Ryan Thibodaux’s fantastic Baseball Hall of Fame ballot tracker. While Schilling’s percentage will decline once private ballots get released, this is the best chance Schilling has at being inducted into the Hall.
His induction would be an egregious mistake. A vote for Schilling is confirmation that none of the abhorrent language he’s pushed since his retirement matters. Schilling isn’t held accountable for spreading hate speech or dangerous views. Instead, he gets rewarded with the largest possible platform and the most prestigious title in baseball. It’s a slap in the face to the marginalized groups Schilling has targeted over the past couple years. It tells those communities baseball doesn’t care about them, and turns those fans away from the game. A vote for Schilling confirms that baseball will not only accept, but reward horrible, hateful people.
While Schilling had been outspoken about his political beliefs during his playing career, he began to veer in a far more extreme direction once he retired and started working for ESPN. Schilling was suspended by the network in August 2015 after tweeting out a graphic that compared Muslims to Nazis. He was fired by ESPN in April 2016 after sharing a transphobic meme on his Facebook page. Schilling had been warned by ESPN multiple times that his conduct on social media violated the network’s policy.
Months later, Schilling shared another tweet in which he applauded a shirt advocating for journalists to be hung. The following year, Schilling — then working for Breitbart — interviewed congressional candidate and white nationalist Paul Nehlen. Schilling agreed with and endorsed some of Nehlen’s opinions during the interview, which Breitbart quickly deleted in an effort to distance itself from Nehlen.