Ethics Hero: Former Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling


No, this isn’t about “the bloody sock.”

When Curt Schilling found his teenage daughter the target of obscene tweets from anonymous Schilling haters —he annoys vengeful Yankee fans because he led the historic Boston comeback from a 0-3 deficit that humiliated their team in 2004, deranged Democrats because he is a Republican, anti-Christian bigots because he is openly devout, and there was that scandal involving his game company blowing through millions of taxpayer dollars bestowed on it by Rhode Island —he got both mad and even, tracking down their identities, and exposing them and their filthy cyber-bullying on his personal blog.  He apologized to his daughter for prolonging her embarrassment, saying,

P.S. Gabby I know you’re likely embarrassed and for that I apologize,” he wrote. “But as we have talked about, there is no situation ever in your life, where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped.”

Several of Gabby’s tormenters felt her famous father’s wrath in substantive ways. In the aftermath of Schilling’s counterattack,  Adam Nagel  was suspended by Brookdale Community College, where he’s a student and a disc jockey, and Sean MacDonald was terminated by the Yankees, where he worked as a part-time ticket seller. The ex-pitcher noted that several athletes who slimed Gabby Schilling were punished by their coaches.

Wrote the avenging father on his blog,

But I have to ask, is this even remotely ok? In ANY world? At ANY time?

…This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’re at a point now where you better be sure who you’re going after.

If I was a deranged protective dad I could have been face to face with any of these people in less than 4 hours. I know every one of their names, their parents, where they go to school, what they do, what team they are on, their positions, stats, all of it. I had to do almost nothing to get ANY of that information because it is all public.

What part of talking about a young woman, my daughter or not, makes you even consider the possibility that this is either funny or makes you tough?

I found it rather funny at how quickly tone changed when I heard via email from a few athletes who’d been suspended by their coaches. Gone was the tough guy tweeter, replaced by the “I’m so sorry apology used by those only sorry because they got caught.

That’s the ethical way to handle cyber-bullies: not censorship, not criminal charges, just exposure and consequences.

Nice pitch, Curt.


18 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Former Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling

  1. Hey, he pitched for the Diamondbacks too, Jack. And he and Randy Johnson led them to a tremendous defeat of the Yankees in the 9/11 World Series. They even beat Mariano Rivera in game seven! One of the happiest sports moments of my life. Also a local Phoenix guy. Seems very genuine. And very entertaining. A complete chatterbox in the dugout and now on the air. Guys used to have to hide from him on the bench so he couldn’t talk their ears off on his off days. Invariably, he’d corner an unsuspecting and deferential rookie. Also a great sense of humor. He drew a chalk, crime-scene-like outline of a gangly body sprawled just past first base the day after Randy Johnson tripped and fell down while rounding first base and was tagged out.

    • And he pitched a long time for the Phillies. Remember Shil visibly distraught in the dugout any time Mitch Wild Thing Williams was brought in to blow a lead?

    • Those were just stops along Schil’s Odysseus-like journey back to Boston, where he first signed and should have stayed, though he was traded to the O’s for Mike Boddicker, who was good several years before Curt found the strike zone.

      What is this “National League” to which you allude?

      • Oh Christ. Red Sox fans. Sheesh. My wife is from Saugus. All I can say is thank God the Red Sox won a series, never mind two, during her lifetime. If you were a true Bostonian of an earlier vintage, you’d be a Boston Braves fan.

        Did not know the Sawks signed him out of high school.

  2. Fired from work after this became a national embarrassment? Sure. Their conduct was objectively inappropriate and private citizens and companies don’t have to tolerate people like that for any reason. Honestly I’d be okay with them getting fired before this became newsworthy.

    But suspended from a community college? For speech made off campus, to someone who isn’t also a student there, and in no way has anything to do with the school? Hold your horses. Anything that the government has a share in automatically has a much much higher standard of free speech and this doesn’t come anywhere close. I’m surprised you didn’t pick this one out as the unethical example in the bunch.

    • I agree that suspending a student for what he posts online is troubling, unless the student agreed to some policy that would allow it. Curt just outed the bullies. He didn’t demand any specific remedies.

      Can a college demand that a student comport himself or herself in public so as to be a credit to the institution? Then the suspension is for conduct that embarrassed the school. Interesting issue.

  3. I applaud him further for doing all this without resorting to foul language and personal attacks a la Donald Silverman, who hammered a rabbi who penned an admittedly condescending criticism of Sarah Silverman with a post that began “Hey, asshole!” told him to “shove God up your ass” and ended with “you don’t fuck with my family.” Although he got a lot of “likes” and cheers from Sarah followers, in the end he just showed himself to be a classless jerk who can tap out curses on the computer. Sometimes the best win is a bloodless slice with a rapier rather than a bash in the head with a morning star.

  4. Cyber-bullying has always seemed a bit pointless to me. There is nothing, and I seriously repeat NOTHING you can say to me or about me that would make me fear for my life, health or safety, on the Internet. For many reasons, but, and I say this just for justification from a teen-agers point of view, my social life doesn’t depend on how much people at school like me, either. At this point in my life, I JUST DON’T CARE WHAT YOUR OPINION OF ME IS. Probably sad, but there it is. That said, Curt did EXACTLY the right thing.

  5. I like the note to his daughter. That showed the true focus of his actions was always where a father’s heart should be; and none of it on himself. Rare.

  6. Love it, anytime a baseball player (current or former) is an Ethics Hero!

    How should a follower of the game deal with the return of A-Rod?

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