August 01, 2018
Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling is still taking flak for the failed video game company he attempted to launch with financial support from the state of Rhode Island.
The three-time World Series champ, now a host with conservative news outlet Breitbart, was on a flight to see family Sunday night when another passenger took issue with the former pitcher's first-class seats.
Lol @gehrig38 is flying first class on my flight home, guess he must’ve paid Rhode Island all that money back— “dan” (@youngersheldon) July 30, 2018
Schilling's video game venture 38 Studios was launched in Massachusetts in 2006. He moved the company to Rhode Island after receiving $75 million in loans from the state's economic development agency.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and Schilling eventually settled for $2.5 million, claiming it was the best he could do, and audaciously suggested the state didn't provide 38 Studios enough help to succeed.
In response to the taunt on Twitter, Schilling got tough with the passenger.
Funny your gutless ass didn’t mention this when you passed by. Feel free to do so when we deplane sweetie.— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) July 30, 2018
The passenger took him up on his offer, claiming Schilling simply yelled at him from a distance about the jobs his company created.
Just an FYI to all the concerned people I survived curt and his son waiting for me at the gate and yelling about the jobs he created in Rhode Island— “dan” (@youngersheldon) July 30, 2018
Schilling defended himself and said he kept his cool during the encounter, but then cryptically linked to a viral video in which a man angered by internet commenters terrorizes one of his trolls in person.
Gonna leave you with this. You don't know who people are, and someday you're going to get hurt being an internet tough guy. I was waiting on my 2 youngest sons, not you. I didn't raise my voice, I wasn't disrespectful, but I also could have been this guy. https://t.co/VWXrxGe9cL— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) July 30, 2018
"I mean for all the internet tough guy talk you’re the one fantasizing about me sweating the whole ride home and telling me I’m lucky you aren’t a violent psychopath for joking about the time you fleeced RI six years ago,” the passenger replied and later deleted, according to the New York Post.
Schilling's post-playing days have been marred by controversies, particularly during his time at ESPN. The former analyst was suspended and later fired for sharing provocative and offensive political memes, including a final straw targeted at transgender people.
Whether or not Schilling deserved to be disturbed by a passenger, this isn't the first time his fiery personality has landed him in a social media confrontation. In 2015, when Schilling congratulated his daughter on pitching for her college softball team, Twitter users took the opportunity to grossly disparage the young woman just because they don't like her father.
Schilling punched back in that instance, outing several of the commenters who attacked his daughter and even getting one of them suspended from his university job.
However you may feel about Schilling, he makes a valid point that people should be more wary of the real-world consequences for throwing their weight around online, instead of collecting virtual support for cheap laughs. Schilling would know this better than most.
"I am completely unafraid to get into a ragging war with anyone. Win or lose I’ll give as good as I get," Schilling said in his 2015 blog post. "I have zero issues being made fun of. It’s part of living and playing sports your whole life and when you’re built like I am you need to develop a defensive strategy early in life."