This week, ESPN baseball analyst Curt Shilling posted a disturbing and transphobic image and comment on his Facebook page, remarking on the recent legislation across the nation limiting transgender people’s access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
Schilling's comment read:
"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,” he wrote. “Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic."
He posted the comment along a horrific anti-transgender meme, which was later removed from his Facebook page.
"Curt Schilling's public and derogatory attack on transgender people was extremely troubling. Transgender people aren't mean-spirited memes. We are your neighbors, co-workers, your family -- and yes, even baseball fans,” said Jay Brown, Director of Research and Public Education, HRC Foundation. “And particularly when transgender women are the target of such high levels of physical violence simply because of who they are, this kind of ugly propaganda is not just wrong, it's dangerous."
Schilling’s comments are directly related to the onslaught of legislation nationwide targeting transgender people, and particularly children. These bills, such as the one South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard vetoed, the one North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law and the discriminatory bill in Tennessee that was pulled from consideration in the Tennessee House yesterday, compromise the physical and emotional safety of transgender people and put them at increased risk of attack and abuse.
"We are taking this matter very seriously and are in the process of reviewing it," an ESPN spokesperson told Big League Stew.
An unprecedented 44 anti transgender bills are being considered in 17 states. Some bills undercut the ability of transgender people to access gender-affirming health care, create state-sanctioned avenues of anti-transgender discrimination and, last but not least, deny transgender people access to bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams consistent with their gender identity. Learn more about the legislation here.