Today a popular subject to speak about is John Rocker. An athlete, who plays baseball for the Atlanta Braves, who lashed out and said unappropriate remarks. Should this be a controversy? Should people be upset at him for his remarks? The words of John Rocker and the opions of people of how they affected them are different. He may be a racist, or he could have been just been angry and upset, but many are fighting back with words and letters speaking their minds. There are questions such as was he punished enough, or should he be punished in the first place. In defence of Rocker, what ever happened to freedom of speech? Why should people care so much for what he has said, or has the media just taken it too far?
Is John Rocker a racist? First Rockers comments, apologizing for what he has said.My comments concerning persons afflicted with AIDS as well as various minority groups. I have left the thought that I am a racist but im not. Ill Reiterate again and apoligize one more time to anybody Ive offended.(Statement read by John Rocker Trivalley herald pg.C1) Does he really mean this? Most people do not believe it was a statement that he did not mean and only gave this statement so he would not look like a complete jerk.
Reflecting on what he said to let people think he is a racist. As John was driving with a reporter he yells, So many dumbasses do not know how to drive in this town. He Continues and says, Look! Look at this idiot! I gurantee you she is Japanese woman.( Sports Illustrated Magazine Pg.63) The woman who was driving the car ends up being white. Then he goes on when he is asked by the same reporter how he feels about the people of New York. He comments, The biggest thing I dont like about New York are the foreigner. I am not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians, Koreans, Viatnamese, Indians, Russian, and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get into this country?(Sports Illustrated Magazine pg 64)
Now why are people so upset? Because of what he just said that is why! What was he thinking when he said all this? He is a foreigner too! This whole country is made up of foreigners,so why would he say such a remark? Did he not think this would be read or published? Where his thoughts saying no one will care about this, it will blow over. Yea Right! He is an athlete and people listen and pay attention to what athletes say and what is printed in the newspaper. Especially if the media makes a huge story out of it.
Many do not think they would believe what he said unless they read it themselves.It astonishes them that he goes on and continues.He calls an overweight black teamate a fat monkey. (Sports Illustrated Pg 59) When he was asked about if he feels a bond with Latrell Sprewell, a basketball player who choked his own coach he responds, That guy should have been arrested, and instead hes playing basketball. Why do you think that is? Do you think if he was Keith Van Horn, if he was white they let him back. No way! He says he is not racist or prejudiced but certain people bother him. (Sports Illustrated Magazine pg 63) These comments indicate that he is either a racist or was just really upset when interviewed.
Society does not accept these kinds of statements and let people get away with them. There are too many people who will repeat and talk about what you say, especially if it is the wrong thing. If you are an athlete or a popular figure becareful what comes out, and do not say stupid things at the wrong time, because there are reporters who will try ease drop or try to see what will come out when a particular person is about to say something. The reporters in this world will give people such a bad image so fast that the person they quote will not have time to think of what he or she just said.
It is a problem that Rocker said these things, but it should not have been such a big deal. It was on the news twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. People were really starting to get sick of it. It seems as if the media now a days controls what happens and whats goes on.
Why John Rocker was so upset is because of how the people of New York treated him while he was there. If they treated another person like they did Rocker im sure that same person would have said something also it just would not have been noticed like Rockers comments. The people of New York spit at him, said rude things about his family, and just behaved in an awful manner, to the point were he lost his temper and composure, and he said things he probably did not really mean. Rocker went off on the Coach of the New York Mets even.( Sports Illustrated Magazine Pg 64) When he was asked about how he felt about Mets Mangager Bobby Valentine, The guy is not a professional, could you see Joe Torre or my manager Bobby Cox getting thrown out of a game and then putting on a Gruncho marx disguise and sneaking back into the dugout? If a player got kicked out fo a game and did that Joe Torre would probably suspend him for a week Bobby Cox would demand that the player be traded and tell him not to comeback. The Mets manager did that! That and his college rah rahs. I dont like it!!! (www.rockersucks.com) Now these comments in society will get a person like john in trouble. Every New York and every sports radio show was talking about John Rocker. People should never criticize another player or employee. Though people were getting tired and sick of all the coverage it was getting. The media takes things too far and sometimes causes the problem Rocker was a victim of this.
The word affected people differently. Some really did not care, others thought, Who does this guy think he is? In our Society people do not accept words like Rocker said without it being a big thing. When it was just the New York fans that hated him for talking back with the fans in the playoffs American vieweres applauded. It was basically all in good fun. His manager was asked routinely about Rockers behavior. Rocker said,Why would he say something to me? I mean we were winning. (SportsIllustrated Magazine pg 60) Which is a good point. He just took it too far and got caught up in the moment and said the wrong things when asked about it.
Now some people in their different ways are fighting back with their words and letters. Some are going so far as to making websites such as Rocksucks.com A posting from Michelle said, You are the most hideous man I have ever laid eyes on. I hope your baseball career is short just like your intelligence. (www.rockersuck.com) David said, you are a disgrace to the game of baseball, maybe you sould think before you shoot your big fat mouth. You are an Immature punk who is lucky to be in the majors. Get some class!!! (www.rockersucks.com) His very own teamate who has decided to remain annonymous said, he can get crazy. He has a real short fuse, when it goes off its probably better not to be around. Maybe this is why he said those things he was really mad so Michelle and David do not be so upset have not people said things that they did not mean? Everyone says things they do not mean, nobodys perfect. The last comment from Michael is going too far michael says, My mouth is watering for that day when you step foot in Shea once again. This time Im bringing D batteries. Now this is going just a little too far. D batteries someone is going to get seriously hurt. There better be extra security for that game.
Now to John Rockers punishment. Was his punishment of $25,000 severe enough with suspension of a month, or should he have been punished in the first place? His first step was his apology. Then he had to undergo sychological tests. (Trivalley herald C-1) Bud Selig said, That he would wait and see the evaluation notes before any dicipline. Soon there after, Rocker had been suspended for the first mont of baseball and fined $25,000.(palmbeach newspaper pg C-3) Should a player be punished for words alone? Later that month an abritrator or ruler ruled that Rocker would be suspended 10 games and cut his fine to $500.(palmbeach newspaper pg C-3) What is the point of punishing someone if it is just going to be overturned this is really confusing. Soon there after John Rocker begged his teammates to let him play. He apologized for all the distractions he has caused but will it be enough to gain fogiveness?
Now, why should he have been punished so hard in the first place? There are plenty of athletes who are doing and have done worse things and are still playing and were not punished. It was rude and unexcusable, but there are worse things to punish then Rocker and his words.
Yes Rocker was wrong and yes Rocker should be disliked but there a worse things in life then peoples words and this should have not been as a big deal as it was. Rocker is an ordinary guy who is caught up in the emotional part of a ball game and people should fogive and forget. Sure he acted like a jerk but people deserve a second chance and that is what society gives us. In our society we love to give people second chances, third chances, and so on. Just look at Daryl Strawberry how many times has he been caught with cocaine? People lets forgive and forget and give John Rocker a second chance just like everyone else that has done wrong has gotten a second chance. He deserves one he paid his crime, and he apologized for what he had said its time to drop the subject of John Rocker and start worrying about other things that effect our society rather than a few harsh words. John Rocker deserves another chance so give it to him!!!
sports illustrated magazine, john muckruck,dec. 1999