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Rocker; not Satan, just stupid


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Ryan Finley

By Ryan Finley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
January 14, 2000
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I agree with John Rocker on one point: New Yorkers are punks.

That being said, Rocker is the biggest idiot in America.

His statements regarding everyone from blacks to homosexuals in a recent Sports Illustrated article were inflammatory and offensive, going against what many Americans have worked for since the civil rights movement.

It has been said that sports are a microcosm for life. In sports, much as in life, there are bound to be some people with racist views. Those people are idiots and we, as fans and people, have to learn to deal with their insensitivity.

Just over a year ago, Green Bay Packer Reggie White made remarks about all racial groups, notably Hispanics and Asians. He claimed that Asian-Americans "could turn a watch into a TV in no time."

However, despite those comments, he was never reprimanded by the NFL. They just let him deal with the backlash.

Major League Baseball should not suspend, test or punish Rocker for his outburst. He's already ruined his fledgling career.

Rocker said stupid things to the wrong people, sharing his racist remarks with, of all people, a writer from Sports Illustrated. In doing so, he has ensured himself a career filled with chucked batteries, vulgar signs and (hopefully) a mental collapse.

Watch as the following scenario takes place at ballparks all over America during the 2000 season: Rocker emerges from the bullpen, hoping to close another game for the Atlanta Braves. As soon as he exits the bullpen, opposing fans start throwing everything from batteries and beers to rocks and bats at Rocker's red neck. That, of course, is after he gets beaten up by, well, everyone in the locker room prior to gametime.

When it comes to contract time, Rocker's deal will almost certainly not be renewed. I predict he gets dealt to a team with a total lack of morals (the Dodgers) for a minor leaguer and spends the rest of his baseball career regretting the interview with Sports Illustrated.

He isn't even that good of a pitcher. The job, if you remember, was never his to begin with. At the beginning of the 1999 season, Kerry Lightenberg, the Braves' regular closer, tore a rotator cuff and missed the entire season.

In came Rocker, a beer-drinking, tobacco-chewing everyman with a penchant for screaming on the mound. He was the darling of the Atlanta Braves during the playoffs, helping them to reach the World Series. However, his racist comments in SI last month showed Rocker to be what most people thought he was anyway - an ignorant, uneducated redneck.

In an interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons on Wednesday, Rocker admitted to being a redneck, as if that was something to be proud of. However, he vehemently denied being a racist, claiming that he had shared his Macon, Ga., home with a handful of Braves players, all of whom were minorities.

He tried to vindicate himself, asking, "If I was a racist, would I let black guys live at my house?" It was then that Rocker showed an inane talent to make even the most sincere apology sound racially motivated.

Rocker then said what he should have said a month ago, that he "sounded like a jerk" by making his remarks.

Well, it looks like John Rocker finally got something right.

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