Trump Endorses Anti-immigrant Former Baseball Player Known for Collecting Nazi Memorabilia

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling said he is 'absolutely considering' running for the U.S. Congress in Arizona

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This Aug. 3, 2012, file photo, shows former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling smiling after being introduced at Fenway Park in Boston
This Aug. 3, 2012, file photo, shows former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling smiling after being introduced at Fenway Park in BostonCredit: AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File

Former Arizona Diamondbacks pitching great Curt Schilling said he is "absolutely considering" running for the U.S. Congress in Arizona, and it appears he has the support of President Donald Trump.

In an email to the Arizona Republic, Schilling, 52, who retired from baseball in 2007, cited immigration issues as motivation for his possible move into politics. The newspaper report notes that Schilling would run against one of the state's five Democrats, but he did not specify which district he is considering.

"The state is not the state I grew up in. Making Arizona citizens of EVERY Race, religion and sexual orientation 2nd class citizens to illegal immigrants is about as anti-American as it gets," wrote Schilling. "When you have homeless veterans, children, and you're spending tax dollars on people smuggling drugs and children across our border someone in charge needs their ass kicked."

The three-time World Series champion first revealed his plans for a political future on Sunday in an interview with Armed American Radio's Mark Walters.

"I haven't said anything publicly, but I'm considering going back to Arizona and running for a congressional seat, one of the blue ones," he said Sunday. "It's something that my wife and I have talked about, and she's now becoming more and more pumped at the potential. Obviously, we're still quite a few discussions away, but yeah, it's something we're absolutely considering."

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump called the news "terrific," writing, "Curt Schilling, a great pitcher and patriot, is considering a run for Congress in Arizona. Terrific!"

Schilling has been the center of controversy in the past for his race-baiting tweets and harsh anti-Muslim sentiment. In August 2015, Schilling shared a meme on Twitter that compared Muslims and Nazis.

The meme's text read: “It’s said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How’d that go?”

Schilling quickly deleted it, but was pulled from the air by ESPN as a result he was eventually fired as a commentator for ESPN in April 2016 after reposting a meme that was widely interpreted as anti-transgender.

Schilling is also a known collector of Nazi memorabilia and in August 2015, he even went on Facebook to promote his collection which included “numerous Nazi uniforms with swastikas.”

In November 2016, tweeted a picture of someone at a Trump rally wearing a shirt that said "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required."

Later that year, he announced on Facebook his plan to make a White House run in 2024.

In 2017, Schilling interviewed white nationalist and anti-Semite Paul Nehlen, who was then running a failed primary campaign to unseat former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

In April 2017, Schilling tweeted an article claiming Jewish billionaire George Soros was behind a chemical weapons attack in Syria. Schilling captioned the tweet, “Click on the ‘false flag’ link at least.”

In 20 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros, the right-hander racked up 216 wins with a 3.46 ERA and 3,116 strikeouts. He was runner-up for the National League Cy Young Award in 2001 and 2002 and runner-up for the American League Cy Young Award in 2004.

He was known for clutch performances in the postseason. In 12 playoff series, Schilling posted an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA.

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