The Red Sox on Thursday issued the following statement on former pitcher Tim Wakefield and his wife, Stacy, with their permission:
“We are aware of the statements and inquiries about the health of Tim and Stacy Wakefield. Unfortunately, this information has been shared publicly without their permission. Their health is a deeply personal matter they intended to keep private as they navigate treatment and work to tackle this disease. Tim and Stacy are appreciative of the support and love that has always been extended to them and respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”
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The statement was unfortunately prompted by private health information that former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling shared on his podcast, The Curt Schilling Baseball Show, without the Wakefields' permission.
Schilling reported that Tim Wakefield was recently diagnosed with a "very serious, very aggressive form of brain cancer." He also said Stacy Wakefield is battling pancreatic cancer.
Schilling was swiftly criticized for sharing the information, which the Wakefields had told others they wished to keep private. Among those who took to social media to rip Schilling were Catherine Varitek, wife of former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, and MLS analyst and former New England Revolution star Taylor Twellman.
Schilling has been no stranger to controversy since he retired, but this crosses a different kind of line -- obviously a very personal one for the Wakefields and those close to them.
According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, people with the Red Sox and others around the Wakefields are "furious."
Schilling has not yet responded to the backlash as of Thursday afternoon.