For baseball fans, the performance of Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling in the 2004 American League Championships ranks among the most memorable gutsy plotlines of all time.
The Red Sox, fighting a World Series winless streak dating back to 1918, were down three games to none to their archrival, the New York Yankees. The Sox then won two straight games. In the crucial Game Six, Schilling was slated to start, despite a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle that required medical staff to literally suture his tendon to deeper tissue. He proceeded to throw seven innings, giving up just one run, and giving us the immoral image of blood seeping through his sock as he dragged his team to victory.
ESPN created a "30 for 30" documentary on the series titled "Four Days In October." The original documentary ran one hour and five minutes, and included a 17-minute segment focusing on Schilling's heroics.
When ESPN re-aired the documentary this week, however, the 17-minute Schilling segment was simply cut.
Two weeks ago, Schilling posted on Facebook that men who believe they're women shouldn't use the women's bathroom. He shared a meme with a rather hideous gentleman in a skirt, and a leather top with cutouts for his man boobs and stomach, wearing a blonde wig. The caption: "LET HIM IN! To the restroom with your daughter or else you're a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!" Schilling added: "A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don't care what they are, who they sleep with, men's room was designed for the penis, women's not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic."
This logic is, of course, inarguable. But it led ESPN to fire him nonetheless, stating: "ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."
By inclusive, ESPN does not mean ideologically inclusive. They simply mean that if you do not kowtow to politically correct idiocies about men magically becoming women, you will not be tolerated. ESPN is the same channel that rewarded Caitlyn Jenner, nee Bruce, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for getting a misguided boob job, facial reconstruction surgeries and hormone treatments that will not solve his underlying mental illness. Pointing out that Caitlyn is still a man, however, will get you fired from that same network.
Not only that, but you will be memory-holed. Any person can be wiped from history with a Hillary Clinton-esque cloth at any time if he or she violates the prevailing leftist orthodoxy. Mike Tyson can still star in multiple "30 for 30" episodes after being convicted of rape. But Schilling must be excised from one of the most crucial sporting series in baseball history because he thinks men with penises are still men.
Every area of American life has now been transformed into an enforcement mechanism for leftist groupthink. Entertainment. Education. Even sports.
Conservatives spend all their time and energy focusing on elections. But the real battles are fought in the cultural space, on supposedly minor issues like the employment of All-Star and borderline-hall-of-famer Curt Schilling. If conservatives fail to realize that, elections are only the beginning of their losing streak.
Ben Shapiro, 32, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles and KTIE 590 Orange County, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is the New York Times best-selling author of "Bullies." He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.