I am utterly shocked, and completely mortified by what I saw from Twitter trolls attacking Curt Schilling after he posted a celebratory tweet about his daughter pitching next year. That, in turn made former Red Sox pitcher take matters into his own hands, or should I say... into his own words when it came to not only defending his daughter, but calling out the lewd and crude men who disgustingly began a cyber-bullying parade stemming from one innocent tweet. Don't know what I mean? Read on...
Curt Schilling, a 48-year-old retired MLB pitcher originally from Alaska, is the father of four children. Last week, Schilling posted this tweet congratulating his daughter on her acceptance to Salve Regina University.
Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!We all celebrate our kids, right? No problem. However, in this day and age of Web 3.0, which according to New York Times reporter John Markoff, "emphasizes machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience" and leads to intentional information gathering, sharing and collaboration online, anyone can comment and respond to posts made through the variety of social media available. So, Schilling posts a tweet via his Twitter handle and his followers see it in their newsfeed. They can respond, repost, retweet, screenshot and share with others. And that's what happened but the unintended consequences of this sequence is what is so catastrophic and frankly sickening.
— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) February 25, 2015
Tweeters made inappropriate remarks over a few days since Schilling's original post on February 25th. On March 1st, Curt Schilling on his personal blog entitled 38 pitches screenshot and posted many of the outright disgusting comments made by irresponsible Twitter users. You can see Schilling's post here. Tweeted remarks made included references to sex, abuse of the female body and rape. According to the New York Daily News, Schilling stated, "Lost in all of this is, my daughter is 17. She’s a minor. And these guys are all adults. I’m pursuing legal recourse on a couple of them because they broke the law. What they did can have them labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.” As many as nine Twitter users have paid a hefty price for their actions including losing their jobs and having their Twitter accounts suspended. “As a father, besides providing for my family, what other job do I have? Loving my kids and protecting my family,” Schilling told the Daily News Monday night.
At a time where we continue to look up to athletes as leaders, it is reassuring to see an MVP baseball player take a stance and then follow through by holding the perpetrators accountable. In a CNN report, Schilling stated that "there is a gap between this generation and accountability." I couldn't agree more. Whether you are a Yankee fan, Red Sox fan, Patriots fan, Giants fan, runner, tennis player, teacher, principal, actor, artist, politician, or lawyer, we are all citizens and we all have a role to play in supporting a growing, thriving society that makes appropriate choices and models good pro-social behaviors. We need parents who teach their children right from wrong, mentors who provide good advice to their younger peers and pro athletes that champion causes and exhibit conduct that empowers and respects people both on and off the field, during their career and after their sports years are over. These champion-like behaviors are what protect us and connect us to one another.
Cyber-bullying should be everyone's business. It is mine as a parent of both a middle schooler and high schooler, it is yours in whatever role you hold in kids' lives and it is most certainly baseball's business. Thank you, Curt, for facing these thugs head on and for protecting America's children everywhere, including mine. That's the kind of champion that we need in sports and in life. Like him or not, Curt Schilling did the right thing for all of us.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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