ESPN’s slap-on-the-wrist of choice when its on-air employees get a little too boisterous on social media is the Twitter ban. ESPN’s Bill Simmons has, in the past, tweaked the network brass with his social opinionating and has been ordered to lay low on Twitter as a result. This week, ESPN enforced a no-tweet zone on baseball writer Keith Law. Deadspin noticed Law’s usually active Twitter feed—Law’s Tweeted nearly 54,000 times—went quiet on Wednesday after a dust up last week with former pitcher and current ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling over the issue of evolution. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
“That’s no coincidence,” Deadspin reported on Friday, “[Law’s] been given a Twitter timeout by ESPN, and we’re told that it’s for loudly and repeatedly defending Charles Darwin from transitional fossil Curt Schilling, his Bristol colleague.” Schilling is decidedly anti-evolution. ESPN denied the suspension was due to Law’s science-based view of the world. “Keith’s Twitter suspension had absolutely nothing to do with his opinions on the subject,” ESPN said in a statement.
So, apparently, science is OK with ESPN. The network does, however, get a bit prickly about its employees going after one another on social media—despite essentially demanding it on air. Otherwise, Skip Bayless would be best known as the older brother of a famous chef. Perhaps, then, ESPN was unhappy with Law’s encouragement of using monkeys as weapons against colleagues? We’ll have to wait for more details on what exactly went down in Bristol. But here’s a portion of the Schilling/Law back-and-forth.