Sports Ethics Minute: Curt Schilling Sticks Up for His Daughter

Curt Schilling has taken a social media stance for his daughter – it is about time that someone in sports stood up for what is right in regard the social media.

The SchilligsIf you haven’t heard the story, let me skip to the basic details. Curt Schilling’s daughter Gabby, inherited her father’s pitching skills; she is so good that last year she pitched in the USSSA Girls Fastpitch World Series.

She got accepted into Salve Regina University for their Seahawks fastpitch team. If you are a parent, or have a niece or nephew or grandchild, more than likely if she got accepted into a school on an athletic scholarship, you would say something like: “Congratulations.”

So the Schillings took to Twitter to congratulate their daughter and there was an amazing outpouring of sexualized crap in response to the name of the university and Schilling’s daughter because “the anonymous” on Twitter think they can get away with all of it.

The outcome was not what the idiots expected. Curt Schilling went to war. They traced the tweets back to several people; one of whom worked for the New York Yankees and several were college athletes who have since been suspended from their teams.

The trap of social media

Unfortunately, the social media has grown much faster than the societal norms that should be covering manners and good behavior. How or why people disregard all civility when using the social media has always been a mystery to me. Words hurt.

I know that Schilling has been at the center of controversy, and some of it was carried out on the social media, but he was not hiding behind anything and he was expressing his beliefs. He was Curt Schilling standing up for what he believed was right. He was not anonymous; he was a man.

This was his daughter. He was protecting her and he did not like the idea that she was being bullied and sexualized. Many years ago, do you remember when a radio talk show host attacked the daughter of a president? Even people who could not stomach the politician could not side with the media personality. You just don’t do that kind of stuff.

You and I may disagree on the topic of sports ethics, and that is OK with me. We can reach common ground or agree to disagree; but if you contact me using an anonymous handle and you attack my family or my faith or my politics because of my position, I get angry.

I am happy Schilling stood up for his kid. If more parents, aunts and uncles did the same thing for both the girls and boys in their lives, there would be a whole lot less cyber-bullying all the way around.

The Ethics of Social Media

I teach a course on Sports Ethics and social media, laying down ethical rules for athletes. Why do I do this? Because one unwise tweet can bring down a career, get an athlete kicked out of school, cut off a scholarship and carry over to all sorts of problems. Don’t do it!

Even if a tweet is deleted, someone will see it and retweet or respond.

Athletes and many, many other people believe that when something is put out on social media it is “protected speech.” Idiots become lawyers; people who have never taken one law course suddenly know everything there is to know about the media. How about thinking instead of “ethical speech?” How about thinking something through before putting a comment out into cyber-space?

When a promising athlete puts out a racist, sexist, or other type of tweet or post, the athlete had better think through very carefully what he or she is trying to accomplish by the remark. Even if no harm was “meant,” it is harmful to another human being. At least people should have the sense to understand that.










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