Greeson: Schilling latest one in the crosshairs of PC police

Greeson: Schilling latest one in the crosshairs of PC police

August 27th, 2015 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

In this Feb. 25, 2015, file photo, baseball broadcast analyst and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling watches as the Red Sox workout at baseball spring training in Fort Myers Fla.

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

First off, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany are never funny.

Never. Unless Mel Brooks is involved, and that's only allowed because Brooks is Jewish and he's a brilliant comedic director.

Every other reference is almost universally unacceptable and it's almost always wise to avoid even the most casual of linkage.

Curt Schilling now knows that for sure.

Jay Greeson

Jay Greeson

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Schilling, the former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher who helped Boston to the 2004 World Series and now is a prominent baseball announcer for ESPN, sent out a Tweet that compared Muslim extremists to Nazis and Hitler.

This is not a freedom of speech issue. Schilling is not in legal trouble because of his Tweet and his Facebook post, and he quickly deleted the social media items after the backlash.

He is free to state his views on whichever platform he wishes, but freedom to do so does not mean freedom from consequences.

Schilling has been suspended from his ESPN job.

That's completely within ESPN's rights, too. People with jobs that are in the public eye have to abide by a different set of standards relative to public appeal and keeping a positive image.

Schilling has apologized for posting the message, which had a picture of Hitler and the caption "It's said that only 5-10 percent of Muslims are extremists; In 1940, only 7 percent of Germans were Nazis."

People can be offended at whatever offends, and the consequences flow accordingly.

But have we reached the point where political correctness trumps actual correctness?

After the shooting attacks here on July 16, the leadership of this newspaper brought in a UTC religion professor and the head of the area Muslim community to discuss Islam with a group of reporters and editors.

Each man was thoughtful and well-spoken. Their presentations were enlightening.

And each said there is a small percentage — not greater than 10 and more likely at five or below — of Muslim extremists who have hijacked the faith for their own perverted purposes.

That small percentage has carried out attacks against those who have different beliefs than they do, and those attacks are a concerted effort to kill those different from the extremists.

Sound familiar?

Schilling has been lambasted for his post, and it doesn't matter if the message is accurate or incorrect. This is about political correctness, and we as a society have been overly politically correct for some time now.

If you wonder why Donald Trump is surging in the polls and rallying new supporters, well, the biggest reason is that voters are fed up with politicians, and the second-biggest reason may be they are fed up with politicians who cannot speak the truth.

The PC police have Schilling in their crosshairs. His time will pass as the next public personality will find a way to insult the Internet morality mob.

Yes, Hitler references will always be questionable and questioned.

But I do wonder if the outrage would have been similar and ESPN's reaction the same if, instead of Muslims, Schilling had compared the extreme 10 percent of Confederate flag supporters to Nazis.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and 423-757-6343. Follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp.

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