And it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out …

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

… at the old junior college ballgame, for lack of a better way to put things.

Is anyone reading this surprised the folks at the Junior College Baseball World Series (JUCO) canceled Curt Schilling’s appearance at the opening banquet before the event? I certainly am not in the slightest.

We’re now at a point in our country where the crux of any situation has little to do with making the right call related to the situation. The call to rescind Schilling’s invitation was made long before he tweeted what he tweeted the other day. And instant replay after instant replay is not going to correct the obvious here, which is that the folks at JUCO had zero choice in doing what they did, given today’s politically correct environment. And I don’t blame them one scintilla for doing what they did. I also believe the group has every right to make any decision it sees fit related to its event.

I fully believe JUCO made its decision for one reason and one reason only; the success of its event based on public relations. The fact is, the people who support Schilling in all of this are much less likely to hurt JUCO than those that oppose him when it comes to the success of the event. Now we might disagree on exactly what the decision hinged on, and that’s fine. But I can tell you what it did not hinge on: The First Amendment, inclusiveness and standing behind a previous decision.

Let’s talk about the decision to invite Schilling in the first place. I would assume that decision was made on Schilling’s ability and knowledge to discuss the game he loves and excelled at: baseball. I would think the status of his job at ESPN was icing on the cake. I don’t see any argument against that. Now the JUCO folks could have taken a stand on that, but chose not to.

I say that because if the decision was based upon Schilling’s tweeting and Internet presence, then our JUCO committee has a serious research problem. After all, it’s not like Schilling hasn’t been in trouble or suspended before from ESPN based on his beliefs. And it’s not like it isn’t out there in a simple Google search for all to see. He was suspended for what he said about Muslims and he’s gotten in hot water for tweeting about Hillary Clinton, to name just a couple of incidences. But apparently those weren’t enough to have the committee say no to an invite for Schilling. Those views could have fallen under the non-invites of Islamophobia and so-called “War on Women,” no?

Which bring us to the latest with the politically correct police and its interpretation of inclusiveness. This is actually a pretty easy argument to deconstruct. Simply put, inclusiveness and acceptance of others is part of everyday life. And we answer this conflict in our daily lives in many ways. Most of us choose between associating with those we disagree with or not associating with those we disagree with and life goes on. That fits in perfectly with our founders’ beliefs on unalienable, individual rights. The problem we run into is that some people decide that how they feel about things needs to be forced at the barrel of the gun of government on those who think differently. And it’s a serious problem today.

And at the heart of the Schilling debate is that good ol’ “inclusive” company, ESPN. It even said so itself in its statement on Schilling, “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.” Really? Wouldn’t inclusive mean you respect ALL points of view? But I digress, given the liberal, progressive agenda of ESPN. After all, ESPN never said a word about this tweet from Kenny Mayne (who is still gainfully employed at the network), “almost rammed car with palin bumper sticker. with intent.. held up..coulda been kids in car.” So intentionally wanting to cause possible bodily injury or death to occupants of a vehicle is acceptable to ESPN, just not an opinion on a law in North Carolina? Sadly, this hypocrisy not only makes sense in America today, it’s applauded.

Again, I’m not saying ESPN has no right to fire Schilling. It absolutely does. I would have fired him, but not for the reasons you might think. I’d fire him for being stupid (again) and endangering the network’s standing in today’s marketplace. I’d do it because I gave him a second chance and he did me wrong any way. Then I’d wait to be fired for letting him have that chance.

And lastly, this has nothing to do with Schilling’s First Amendment rights. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to employees who are personalities working for a private company. That said, we’re getting more and more dangerously close to the federal government ruling over what one can or can’t say, and in many peoples’ minds this is how Schilling’s rights are being violated. Then again, many of those people are Donald Trump supporters, a man whose support of the First Amendment is directly related to his ability to shut up his detractors or win a lawsuit.

And nothing I just wrote about is good for our First Amendment rights.