Curt Schilling proved just how effective standing up to bullies can be.
The former Major League Baseball pitcher, 48, took it upon himself to respond to and publicize vulgar, sexually explicit Tweets about his teenage daughter Gabby, who recently committed to the Salve Regina softball team.
What started innocently as a congratulatory Tweet from a father to his 17-year-old daughter for her recent college acceptance quickly spiraled into a slew of offensive responses from other Twitter users.
Schilling posted screenshots of some of the Tweets about his daughter – some involved derogatory terms or even mentioned rape – to his personal blog, 38 Pitches. The athlete, who has a reputation for being outspoken, also authored a lengthy blog post detailing the incident and criticizing the “gutless clowns.”
“This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’re at a point now where you better be sure who you’re going after,” Schilling said in the post.
And he didn’t stop there: “If I was a deranged protective dad I could have been face to face with any of these people in less than [four] hours. I know every one of their names, their parents, where they go to school, what they do, what team they are on, their positions, stats, all of it,” he wrote.
The threat was far from empty. Schilling proceeded to track down the names of some of the worst offenders and alerted employers and universities of their actions.
At least two online harassers have already faced the consequences. A student at Brookdale Community College has been suspended due to his comments, the university confirmed in a post on its Facebook page.
“Our sincerest apologies to Gabby Schilling. Her achievement should be celebrated and not clouded by offensive comments,” the statement read.
Another commenter, who was employed by the New York Yankees as a part-time ticket seller, was fired from his position, according to USA Today.
Although he did not anticipate the social media storm that hit over the incident, Schilling apologized to his daughter for any embarrassment she may be feeling.
“I don’t know where it started because it sure as hell didn’t happen much when we were growing up. Like any dad reading this the only thing I need you to leave this home with when you head to college is the knowledge that I love you more than life itself and there is NOTHING I would not do to protect you,” he wrote in his online essay.
But the young softball star was more than appreciative of her dad’s protectiveness, Tweeting in response, “@gehrig38 don’t know what I would do without you, I love you so much!!”
“Nobody should be able to get away with saying things like that to a father about their daughter,” Gabby said on Good Morning America.