Anyone still remember John Rocker? He was the Atlanta Braves relief pitcher who said a bunch of bigoted things to a reporter in 1999 and got suspended and fined by Major League Baseball over it and saw his public reputation destroyed. I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to hear that he has a new book out blaming everyone but himself — and that the Worldnutdaily is selling the book with another fake article that is really just an advertisement (we should have a name for that — adverticle?).
For the record, here are some of things he said to a Sports Illustrated reporter. When asked if he would ever play for a New York team:
“I would retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing….
The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. I’m not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get into this country?” …
“So many dumb asses don’t know how to drive in this town,” he says, Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind humming softly from the radio. “They turn from the wrong lane. They go 20 miles per hour. It makes me want — Look! Look at this idiot! I guarantee you she’s a Japanese woman.” A beige Toyota is jerking from lane to lane. The woman at the wheel is white. “How bad are Asian women at driving?”
Apparently aware of how all this is making him sound, and the fact that he’s saying these things to a reporter who is writing an article about him, he says, “I’m not a racist or prejudiced person, but certain people bother me.” Well I guess that makes it all okay. The Worldnutdaily, naturally, calls him “the first victim of many shots in the politically correct war waged against patriotic Americans.” Well of course. Because the problem is how patriotic he is, not how ignorant and bigoted he is.
So now he has a new book out and he’s blaming everyone but himself. And making all the familiar excuses. Stop me if you’ve heard these before:
Rocker’s life was radically altered after an interview with notorious sports journalist Jeff Pearlman from Sports Illustrated…
Rocker commented, “I said some things about New York City which in the context they were presented led many people to automatically interpret as racist, xenophobic, or bigoted. And to this day, that’s what I’m most remembered for. Not what I accomplished on the field, but what I said in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Pearlman spent nearly 10 hours with me that day and we engaged in numerous very long-winded conversations on everything from how to throw a breaking ball to the effects of a flawed U.S. immigration policy. Strategically extracting a sentence fragment here and separate thought there Pearlman painted the exact picture of me he intended from the very beginning and in doing so remained true to form and consistent with his long and decorated history of trash journalism. In my research I have found that Pearlman has done eerily similar hatchet jobs to dozens of other subjects during his 20 year career,” said Rocker.
Notice that he doesn’t deny saying the things he said. He can’t, of course. He said some really stupid, bigoted things to a reporter; that reporter, uh, reported them. And now it’s all the reporter’s fault? Sorry, the world doesn’t work that way. It isn’t his fault for reporting the things you said, it’s your fault for saying them. And thinking them in the first place. Reporting your own words accurately is not a “hatchet job.”
To say John Rocker is fed up with political correctness and the culture police that enforce their speech code standards would be a gross understatement. As Rocker made clear to WND, he’s still waiting for the day when a public figures makes a politically incorrect remark and refuses to cower to the mainstream media. He would love to see someone stand in support of his or her opinion and say: “You know what? I’m not sorry. I don’t care if you’re offended. I have just as much of a right in this country to speak my mind without fear of abuse as you do to be offended.”
But this doesn’t have anything to do with free speech. Rocker wasn’t thrown in jail for being a bigot; being a bigot is perfectly legal in this country. He did get suspended and fined by Major League Baseball, but they have that authority and he signed a contract under an agreement that gives them that authority. And he got criticized. A lot. As he should have. Tough shit. Get over it. And drop the martyr act. You’re a douchebag and the world now sees you as a douchebag; that doesn’t mean you’re being persecuted.