But he certainly schooled a couple of insensitive, immature trolls this week, in a way that dads across the country (all over the world?) are applauding and learning from.
Like any proud papa, of course the former pitcher would want to congratulate his little girl on getting accepted to a great school and joining their softball team. In all honesty, what’s wrong with that? If you’re a normal human being, then nothing’s wrong with it.
But alas, whenever a celebrity has something to say, the trolls squirm their way out of the dark places of the internet to ruin everything they touch. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes they can be downright hilarious, but these inconsiderate ninnies seriously crossed a line when they responded with sexually explicit, disgusting, obscene remarks against Schilling’s 17 year old daughter. Those whose moral compasses are apparently slightly askew then somehow managed to defend the aforementioned ninnies by calling it adult humor, and that they were just joking.
Oh, right, pardon me. Of course they were just providing harmless humor in regards to an underage young woman and nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Silly us, they were just kidding! And Gabby, don’t take any of it personally, because they were really only trying to egg your father on, not emotionally scar you with images of being "passed around" or raped while away at a college you have never really been to before. Chin up kid! They’re just joking! For those of you who want to see Schillings Rant about the whole endeavor you can read it here.
Obviously, Curt’s first reaction was outrage. Any father with any amount of love for his kids would get mad. In fact, most fathers would find these kids and offer a crash course in the school of hard knocks.
What Schilling actually did was a step above what most gut reactions would be. He figured out the identities of these guys (and honestly, it’s easy given the way we use the internet in this day and age), and sent the screenshots of their verbal abuse to their superiors. One of them has been fired, and the other suspended from his college. Permanently.
Harsh? Maybe. But let’s be honest here. If it was just left to fester on the internet, what would happen? Most likely, they’d get their accounts banned. But is that going to stop them? No. They’ll just make new ones, which would then free them up to do the same thing again and again, with no remorse for how they’re affecting people with their trash talk – which is the whole problem in the first place. These keyboard cowboys aren’t seeing the person on the other side of their monitor. I guarantee you these kids wouldn’t dare say even a watered down version of what they posted to either Curt or Gabby in person. But that’s not the only issue. Imagine how Gabby must feel being talked about in such a manner before her first year of college. I know if I were in her shoes, I’d be having some serious reservations right about now, completely reevaluating what I should be expecting from my new peers.
A lot of people are bringing up the issue of whether or not this punishment is too harsh. Curt’s certainly not one bit sorry for their current situations. As he stated in his follow-up post, "Do I feel bad? No. Do I sympathize? No. Whatever is their result is 100% on them. No one asked them to do it, no one forced them to do it." A lot of people agree with him: you made your bed, now lie in it. One commenter even went so far off the track as to start attacking his political preferences in regards to his response on this whole fiasco. They will remain unnamed, but I will quote this: "Typical family values of a Republican racist."
If nothing else, we can at least appreciate the publicity cyber bullying has just received from all of this, because that’s exactly what it was: cyber bullying at its finest. Luckily, Gabby has a very supportive family and a dad that will stop at nothing to make sure she’s protected. Not many bullying victims have a Curt Schilling in their lives who is willing to get people fired and expelled to teach them not to be cruel to others. Good on you, Schilling, and on behalf of those who understand the effects of cyber bullying: thank you.