Former Red Sox teammate speaks out on Curt Schilling, 2004 ceremony drama

Boston Red Sox vs Kansas City Royals - August 23, 2005
Boston Red Sox vs Kansas City Royals - August 23, 2005 / G. N. Lowrance/GettyImages

Opening Day at Fenway Park is just a few days away, and the Boston Red Sox have big plans for the pregame ceremony.

The Red Sox will honor the life and legacy of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, his wife Stacy, and the 2004 World Series-winning team of which he was a member. Boston's championship drought ended 20 years ago, and the 2004 Red Sox team was invited to the festivities, including controversial pitcher, Curt Schilling.

Days before Wakefield's passing in October, Schilling revealed his former teammate and his wife's terminal cancer diagnoses against their wishes. The Red Sox issued a statement saying that the information was revealed without the permission of the Wakefields.

Schilling declined the team's invitation to the ceremony soon after the news of the Opening Day plans was released. Rumors circulated that the Red Sox organization forced him to RSVP "no," but Schilling insinuated that he declined the invite on his own.

Former Red Sox Trot Nixon speaks out about Curt Schilling's choice to decline Opening Day ceremony invitation

“I’ll forever regret what happened but I cannot in good conscience put my self in a position that would detract from the recognition that team and the Wakefields deserve," Schilling said.

Some of his former teammates spoke out about his choice not to attend the ceremony. Trot Nixon gave his thoughts to Chris Cotillo of MassLive. He confirmed that Schilling's absence was his own choice.

“Schill not being here is his decision. It wasn’t anything that we asked for. I didn’t know until (Red Sox senior VP) Sarah McKenna told me,” Nixon said.

Nixon went on to say that Schilling's presence likely wouldn't have been a distraction to himself or many of the other former Sox invited to the ceremony. He called Schilling's actions "unfortunate," but that the Wakefields' memory would take center stage at the event, regardless of his presence or lack thereof.

Schilling is a controversial figure in Red Sox history and his decision to let the Wakefields have their moment without him there to pull attention is the right one. He also alluded to making amends with the "people whose opinion matters to [him]" through letters, suggesting that the former pitcher has apologized for his statements.

More Red Sox reads: