Curt Schilling just lost his job as a reporter for ESPN. The network fired the famed pitcher for making what it considered improper remarks about transgender issues, and re-tweeting a post with some comments added which it deemed inappropriate. He had been recently suspended for making remarks regarding Hillary Clinton. In the past, he had also made other comments which ESPN had considered out of bounds in light of his role and its business.
There’s lots of debate about what’s acceptable to say and what’s not. The issue is often framed as stifling free speech by way of “political correctness.” It would be incorrect to frame Mr. Schilling’s demise through this lens. Mr. Schilling was free to say whatever he wanted but, his comments, as is true for many of us, faced consequences in the business role he occupied.
ESPN has a commitment to inclusion and is a business reliant on a viewer and sponsor audience. The network supports a variety of employee affinity groups including the LGBT community. It’s clear ESPN decided his actions violated core principles and also did not support the image and “brand” that the network needs to support its business, viewers and its employee team. In short, Mr Schilling lost his job because his remarks were “organizationally incorrect” not “politically incorrect.”
Mr. Schilling may continue to say whatever he wants in his capacity as a private citizen; but as an agent responsible to his employer, he simply struck out. As to what’s politically correct or not, I’ll leave that debate to our politicians.