The news on television, sports talk radio and the web this week has been centered around Curt Schilling, former Red Sox pitcher and his daughter Gabby. A former athlete and proud father tweeted out a congratulations to his daughter about her softball scholarship….and some of the responses he received were vulgar and downright terrifying. The disgusting tweets have been taken down, but Schilling posted screen shots on his personal blog, then went one step further.
This dad personally researched who these guys were on twitter, and called them out publicly. In his 1,700 word post he wrote,
The Sports Guru”? Ya he’s a DJ named Adam Nagel (DJ is a bit strong since he’s on the air for 1 hour a week) on Brookdale Student Radio at Brookdale Community College. How do you think that place feels about this stud representing their school? You don’t think this isn’t going to be a nice compilation that will show up every single time this idiot is googled the rest of his life? What happens when a potential woman he’s after googles and reads this?
The other clown? He’s VP of the Theta Xi fraternity at Montclair State University. I gotta believe if Theta Xi is cool with a VP of one of their chapters acting like this I’d prefer to have no one I know in it. Also, does anyone attending Montclair State University have a student handbook? If so can you pass it along because I am pretty sure there are about 90 violations in this idiots tweets.”
Because of their actions and Schilling’s rant – Adam Nagel has been suspended by Brookdale Community College, and MacDonald was fired by the New York Yankees, where he worked in ticket sales. These guys clearly stepped over the line, their tweets to Schilling were abhorrent. And because it’s the internet they will live forever, despite the fact they’ve deleted their twitter account.
Schilling continued in his tirade,
What these kids are failing to realize, what this generation fails to realize is this; Everything they’ve just said and done? That is out there now, forever. It can, and in some cases will, follow them for the rest of their lives.”
If you are a parent and read the comments Curt Schilling received via twitter, no doubt you are sickened. You may have imagined someone out there actually doing these things that were threatened to your daughter, and you were horrified. The internet is indeed a world where things live forever, and anyone can find your location, your kids, or even where you live just by reviewing your social media accounts, or doing a quick google search.
The web has become a space that defines you, it’s your digital imprint and the first place employers look when trying to scout you for that next job. How you present yourself to the world and how you are perceived can be determined in less than two minutes from pulling up your Facebook, Linked In and Twitter profiles.
This story is not only shocking to all parents, but for those of us who have blogs, and for me personally this is a huge wake up call. My husband and I have discussed what details we should publish publicly, but I sometimes feel I share too much. And that will change. I, like Schilling, never would have imagined someone could write something like that about someone’s daughter, but it happened…and unfortunately it will continue.
Maybe those boys didn’t mean what they wrote, and perhaps they didn’t deserve to be vilified, but they are not the first to cyber bully…and they won’t be the last. And because of their actions we all need to take our own. I will not post as many pictures of my kids on social media, and definitely less on this blog. And when they are old enough to have their own social accounts, we will police them religiously. What’s so sad in all of this is that an innocent tweet caused such malicious responses, and left me questioning if it’s even safe to post my kids pictures on Facebook. Even privately.
Thank you to Curt Schilling for taking a stand and protecting his daughter, I applaud what he did. It’s unfortunate that these two individuals behaved this way, and are now the poster children for cyber bullying. Yes, they deserved to be reprimanded, but let’s remember that responding to them negatively can also be construed as hateful. This is not only a lesson in cyber bullying, but also one that we can learn about our own safety in cyberspace.
As Schilling concluded in his post to his daughter,
Gabby I know you’re likely embarrassed and for that I apologize. But as we have talked about, there is no situation ever in your life, where it’s ok for any ‘man’ to talk about you, or any other woman this way (and truth be told no real man would ever talk this way anyway). It truly is time this stopped. 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. And while it may sound corny, it’s nothing I’d ever be shy about saying in public, ever.”
Now that’s a dad.
will this make you change the way you approach social media?
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There have been a few things recently that have made me second guess my willingness to post pictures of my kids. It is scary to think about what opening our lives up to the public eye can do.
Bravo to that Dad for calling them out. People should think twice about what they write before thinking it’s “anonymous” I worry about what I share about my kids too. It’s a scary world on the internet.
Super scary! I am not so sure I feel safe with their pics all over my blog anymore…
Janine Huldie says
I give Curt Schilling tons of credit for calling these guys out and I, too, am guilty of sharing of my girls on my blog, as this is how it all started for me back in the day, but lately I find myself at the very least not always using their names on my blog specifically and very much don’t post as many pics as I once did. Just scary stuff and it is sad that a handful of trouble makers have to make us feel this way, as parents.
It will make us all think Janine, and yes kudos to Curt. It’s funny as a player he caused a few waves, but as a dad he totally rocks!
Jill Ginsberg says
Well that was enough to make me go and check that all of my family FB photos are Public. Wow, I think Twitter breeds this sort of aggressive sexual mentality in a way that’s just incredibly disturbing. I totally agree with the way Shilling handled this, and I hope it’s a wake up call to all of the cyber bullies out there that there are consequences to their actions. They are still accountable, even when they think they’re hiding behind a screen. It’s our job as parents to be that first – and last – line of defense.
I post pictures of my kids, but I rarely, very rarely, use their names. I am also not in the public eye. Being in the public eye makes sharing things that much scarier!
I think that Curt calling them out is the write thing to do. Although, we have to remember that these aren’t kids. These are men that made these comments. Yes, it’s still cyber bullying and it needs to stop. The worst part about cyber bullying is that more than half of it comes from ADULTS!
What a class act and great role model in Curt Schilling. Thank you for giving us your point of view on the story. I need to figure out what to do with my photos, as well. I love sharing them especially knowing my family (and blog) reaches all across the country. But, safety is most important and I’m scared that we don’t even know what’s out there.
this topic has loooonng scared me. I wrote about it last fall. no one read it. i figured it was because we all love social media for what good it does… it’s the potential for bad that i worry about. check it out when you have time: http://www.onepickychick.com/2014/09/kids-social-media.html
I don’t normally post pictures of my boys on my blog and the other day my husband asked me why I had a picture of the kids on there. I had taken a picture at a birthday party over the weekend (using Instagram) and I have an Instagram feed on my blog so it showed up there. I didn’t even think twice about it when I was posting it.
I always wonder if posting pictures on FB, although under a “private” setting, is truly so…makes you wonder?
I have always intentionally been cautious about how much I reveal about my kids online because people go nuts when they can hide behind a keyboard. I don’t know who is serious and who is playing so I try to minimize having to worry about by cutting down the opportunity for bad things to happen.
Allie Smith says
I saw this on the news this morning. he is my hero! It still blows me away that such an innocent tweet (from Schilling) caused such a cruel backlash.
Aubrey @ 53weeks says
I’m glad those guys got called out, people are too “brave” online and there are consequences to talking recklessly. At the same time, we do have to be careful with what we say, post and put out there because not everyone has good intentions… Hopefully this situation is spawning more dialogue and people will be a little more careful about how they conduct themselves on the internet, no matter what side they are on.
Yes, we need more dialogue and more parents protecting their kids from online predators. But that’s a whole other sidebar.
How scary and sad. Playground bullies have found a new safer place from which they can terrorize people – from behind their computer screen.
I hope and pray that we are able to teach our kids proper internet behavior – that part scares me to no END!
It’s super scary as a whole Tove, I am a firm believer in keeping kids offline and away from cell phones as long as possible!
Katy Blevins - Chaos & Kiddos says
Now that is how a Dad takes care of his daughter.
It sickens me what some men find acceptable. It’s so dishonorable and such a poor example of our generation.
Being in the public eye does make me nervous at times for my children’s sake. I try to be careful as best I can.
More men need to take a stand and demand better of this generation of men. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just being extra quiet. Time to stand up and reclaim it!
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
I am stunned. When I read his blog post and then some of the comments as well, it was unbelievably upsetting. I am sick to my stomach over what his daughter is going through right now. I made my two teenage sons read it as well. What those cyber creeps did is beyond disgusting, and I think Curt had every right to handle it the way he did. I don’t think any parent could stand by and just let this happen. But I cannot believe that ANYONE felt the need to attack Curt in the comments on his blog for posting this. But some did. Using this forum to name call based on his political views is out of line. What has happened to civility in our society?
I know Michelle – his daughter is a whole other issues and it’s pretty awful from start to finish. There are so many different angles to attack on this story…just hoping other ‘trolls’ learn a little lesson from this.
Well done! This story sickened me along with the happy birthday picture the mom posted of her sick 2 year old on Facebook. Truthfully the internet is an amazing place full of wonderful enriching places, but it can also be dark cold and downright evil. It all comes down to teaching our children to be better and expect better. For us to also take the technology they hold very seriously and to train them how to use it properly.
I love Schillings reaction to this and more fathers need this kind of relationship with their daughters.
I am so glad he did what he did. We need an example set to those who think they can get away with talking to people like that. It’s disgusting! I think he is an amazing Dad, doesn’t mess with someone’s kids!
This dad is a hero for the way he stuck up for Gabby. But oh, what a wake up call to a mom blogger like me! Great points. I need to be more careful for sure.
I don’t know what were in the tweets, but I’m appalled at what people will write on their social media to intimidate and bully others. My nephew was on GMA this morning and talked about a new app that is being used by kids to cyberbully each other. Parents need to talk to their kids and explain that this is not okay.
It really is scary, click his blog and you’ll see the tweets!
Great post, Kristen! I am super conscious about what I post online about my kids.
But really, Curt Schilling shouldn’t have to avoid congratulating his daughter online to keep her safe from the weirdos. I hope those jerks DO get called out and have to think about what they did! Idiots.
I know Carrie, the situation is disgusting. But it makes you think about putting your kids out there doesn’t it?
When I used to teach a digital literacy class to 8th graders, I was always amazed at what kids don’t know about using technology. We send them out there with their phones, tablets, and computers and think that they know what they’re doing, but in fact they really don’t. They’re winging it and having fun and then they find themselves in monumental trouble. We used to talk about where your rights online ended and others began – if you took the picture of your friend but your friend doesn’t wanted posted or doesn’t want to be tagged in it, who’s rights and opinions prevail there? What are the consequences for making threats online? Are you ever truly anonymous?
And because kids are kids, we had to keep coming back to those lessons. You’d think they would understand it and then nope…right back to the drawing board, right back to presenting it yet another way to help them understand that there are consequences to every action they take, choice they make.
Fabulous post… Schilling did a great job annihilating those trolls!
Gary Mathews says
What Curt Schilling did should make him father of the year, as someone with a daughter it was very sickening to read those tweets. He used his mind and status though to take them on which was evil genius. It’s a shame that any parent can’t publicly be proud of their children’s accomplishments without this nonsense no matter where you rank on the social status ladder.
I know it’s tough, and I want to be able to say whatever I like publicly, but this gave me great pause.
I saw this and it made me sick to my stomach. When I first started my blog I questioned whether I would even include the girls. Did I have the right to put post on there that would put them in the “public eye”??? I haven’t put their full names on there, but if you do a little digging you could figure out their names. I ask my oldest when I post things about her, her achievements and that she is gay if this is OK, and she is in total agreement that it is. She is striving to be a writer, and says that as long as it is quality and the truth then there is no harm. I understand where she is coming from, and I will defend her and what I say about her to any depth. I hope that I never have to.
I have been fortunate that I have NEVER received negative comments about the girls… I hope it stays that way.
She has received negative comments on FB, but she has an amazing way with words and has defended herself very eloquently 🙂 Proud to say I am her mum.
I think that Mr. Schilling is a remarkable father, who did what any self respecting father would do. call out the bullies, and bravo to the school who stood up and said that those actions have consequences. Were they vilified??? If they were it was done at their own hand.
Lastly as my grandmother would say, you have made your bed, now you must lie in it.
Tiffany | A Touch of Grace says
I have no idea of the remarks the 2 young men made, but good on Curt Schilling for calling them out! I never understand some people’s attitudes and why they think it’s ok to say terrible things about other people. Especially in social media.
Thanks for linking up at the Shine Blog Hop!
I’m so clueless I had no idea who he was. Reading this post and more about him.. makes him my hero. What an awesome dad and a real man.
Talitha Haynes says
I love the fact that he used his platform to call out these men. Great dad standing up for his daughter
I read about this story last night and it is just so disgusting. Good for Curt Schilling for calling these guys out! I hope more young people read this story and better understand that what they say online is with them forever and that you cannot hide behind a computer screen. I seriously cannot believe what they wrote — I can only imagine the shame their parents feel. But you also bring up a very good point about our children and what we share. Even though my daughter is only a toddler, sometimes I worry about what I share about her online. It definitely has made me think.
There are some really disgusting comments on Twitter and all over social media. It is so disturbing to see how people ACTUALLY think…I always wonder, would you go up to a person and say these things that you tweet or write on a news article, if not, then it probably doesn’t belong on social media. Even dumber are the ones who use an account with their own personal information.
Did you see how Ashley Judd wants to handle the disgusting comments that were sent to her when she tweeted support for Kentucky basketball. 🙁
Agreed and go for it Ashley! Get those punks!