He got "punished" by not achieving more success.
He's a whiney baby that can't accept that he did something wrong.
If a civil engineer said that marshmallows were what we should build bridges out of, he would get similarly "punished." And unless he retracted it, that civil engineer would probably never get hired again and would lose any significant academic positions he held.
Try it yourself. If you hold any position of responsibility, say something stupid that proves you're incapable of performing your job and see how long you hold on to your job while insisting you're right.